A weeks ago I was having this conversation with Malaya about Isebelle.
Malaya: Momma, are we going to keep Isebelle forever? Will she be our real sister?
Me: Well Malaya that’s what momma wants but I have to make sure that’s what God really wants. Right now she needs us – so we’re helping her. But ONLY GOD knows if she’ll always be in our family.
A few days pass…
Malaya: So momma – does ONLY GOD know if i get to stay in the family?
Me: What? Of course you’re going to stay in the family. God has already placed all 7 of you kids together in ONE family.
Malaya: If we take really good care of Isebelle can she stay? We are the ones who feed her, bathe her, change her, and play with her. How come HE gets to make all the decisions when we do all the work?
Jose and I laugh about that conversation all the time! It was really precious to get a glimpse of her innocent “child-like” thought-process. You could really tell she was trying to piece it all together.
So I’ve started thinking…. I know - dangerous!
You might find this hard to believe but some people think I’m hard-headed! Shocking I know! I have a lot of passion – a lot of drive – a lot of thoughts – a lot of dreams - on how I think my life/ministry should go.
Granted…. God does dream bigger than I do. And YES – He makes all things work to His glory. The places He takes me ARE always better than what I could ever imagine. But sometimes He wants to put me on the back of a tap-tap and take the scenic route when I’m ready to ride shot-gun on the city’s paved roads.
I am a very organized person. I LOVE charts and calendars and check lists and excel sheets! My mind is always reeling. I am a workaholic - answering emails, communicating the story, helping with sponsorship, thanking donors, buying plane tickets, organizing trips, managing staff, ministering in the Mole, & trying to balance family – all at the same time. AND I LOVE WHAT I DO!
Now you might read that and think that girl is wound-up tighter than a tick!! But Haiti has also taught me how to be EXTREMELY flexible! It can work in my favor when things don’t go as planned because then I get to redo all the charts & calendars I love so much!
The problem is – the cost of trying to be all things and do it all “on my own” causes so much unnecessary stress. While I can be “go with the flow” - the one thing that I struggle with is patience! I like for people to respond to all my requests right away! I like for things to be in order. I don’t have “time” to wait on anyone…..and so often times that includes God!
When we first moved to Mole St. Nicholas I was SO frustrated when we ran into bumps along the way that slowed down the building of our orphanage. I knew I was ready to run it and help children from the moment we got there. I had it all figured out - exactly what I wanted to do and the way it should go! What should have taken a year ended up taking 2 years. Do you know how many times in the last two years we’ve changed the way we’re going to run it? Do you know how much insight we learned living in the Mole for the first 18 months that truly helped define our ministry? It would have been the biggest mistake ever if I would have gotten “my way” and moved too quickly on a decision that would one day effect hundreds of little orphaned children.
Each of us have tasks that we feel 100% responsible for. We have families, school, work, ministry, church, spouses, friends – and the list goes on and on. We are knee-deep in life and it never slows down.
So when it comes to making the decisions - especially the important and potentially life-altering ones – do we not in some ways feel like WE should get to make them ? Or at least we have the right to weigh heavy on them?
After all, we have convinced ourselves that – we are the ones sacrificing - running ourselves ragged – serving every moment – putting in the long hours – sweating profusely through our clothes – and doing all the work! Right?
Hmm…..sounds a little like the conversation I had with my precious Malaya!
I’m reminded of the young rich ruler….
The Message (MSG)
16Another day, a man stopped Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
17Jesus said, “Why do you question me about what’s good? God is the One who is good. If you want to enter the life of God, just do what he tells you.”
18-19The man asked, “What in particular?”
Jesus said, “Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as you do yourself.”
20The young man said, “I’ve done all that. What’s left?”
21“If you want to give it all you’ve got,” Jesus replied, “go sell your possessions; give everything to the poor. All your wealth will then be in heaven. Then come follow me.”
22That was the last thing the young man expected to hear. And so, crest-fallen, he walked away. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and he couldn’t bear to let go.
23-24As he watched him go, Jesus told his disciples, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for the rich to enter God’s kingdom? Let me tell you, it’s easier to gallop a camel through a needle’s eye than for the rich to enter God’s kingdom.”
25The disciples were staggered. “Then who has any chance at all?”
26Jesus looked hard at them and said, “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.”
27Then Peter chimed in, “We left everything and followed you. What do we get out of it?”
28-30Jesus replied, “Yes, you have followed me. In the re-creation of the world, when the Son of Man will rule gloriously, you who have followed me will also rule, starting with the twelve tribes of Israel. And not only you, but anyone who sacrifices home, family, fields—whatever—because of me will get it all back a hundred times over, not to mention the considerable bonus of eternal life. This is the Great Reversal: many of the first ending up last, and the last first.”