Friday, January 29, 2010


Do you ever wonder what your purpose is in life? If do. I find myself pondering that question a lot. I always have. For many years I sat, spinning my wheels, knowing there was a greater purpose for me than whatever it was I was doing.

That changed in my early thirties when I was called into an intimate love relationship with Jesus Christ. From that point forward I stopped searching and started knowing. Knowing I was part of a much bigger picture. Knowing I was forgiven and loved despite a lifetime overflowing with mistakes. Knowing there was (the ultimate) someone (GOD) who wanted much greater things for me than I had ever given myself or even dreamt of pursuing. But my life’s quest didn’t end there. I wasn’t “complete” and I knew it.

For years I've prayed for God to use me in some way—any way. In the beginning, in my new “born again” state, I felt like a player suited up for a game, sitting on the sidelines chomping at the bit, waiting for the coach to put me in the game. Initially I felt as if my unanswered prayers were falling on deaf ears, but undeterred I've continued to pray this same prayer nearly every day over the years. At first I didn't understand why God wasn’t calling me to some greater purpose. I wasn’t frustrated by this. I merely didn’t get why he wasn’t utilizing me. But in fast-forwarding a decade and a half to the present I now understand why God didn’t put me “in the game”. Simply put, I wasn’t ready to play. I had so much training and conditioning to do. Calling me into service back then would’ve been the equivalent of sending a baby to the Whitehouse to serve as President of the United States. I had so much to learn. And still do.

The layers are slowly being peeled away and I can feel the work God is doing in my life. I still haven’t been called into action, but I know in my heart that God is putting a plan together for me. I can feel it. After some great prayer time early this morning I asked my husband where he saw himself in five years. His first answer was, “My eyes aren’t even open yet, Bob.” However, trouper that he is, after a minute or so he gave me his answer. It was a very practical and honest answer—out of debt, still in business for ourselves but headed down a different avenue with a more streamlined approach to business. I appreciate his candor but I see greater things in store for him than that and that’s saying something. My husband is a dreamer of big dreams. That’s one of the (many) things I’ve always loved about him. He has never put parameters around his life goals. I know God has wondrous things in store for him. I see them unfolding every day and it’s a beautiful sight to behold.

I’m not sure where I see myself in the coming years. I’m feeling a possible pull toward the mission field. After our trip to Ethiopia last year I could definitely see myself immersed in mission work. I can honestly say that at nearly 46 years of age I have absolutely no attachment to any material object. Not our house. Not the clothing on my back. Just God and my family. Of course I relish the comforts of life. I think we have the most comfortable bed in the world. And a hot shower? Few things in life are better. Oh, and clean water? After traveling to Ethiopia I have an entirely new appreciation for water. But could I leave it all behind? I think so. Until then though, I’m going to sit here on the sidelines in my uniform and helmet, waiting for the coach’s signal. Rest assured though that when he gives me the nod, I’ll be ready. After all, I’ve been trained and conditioned by the best.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Paralyzed with Sadness

I have been filled with a deep sense of sadness since the January 12th earthquake devastated Haiti’s Port-Au-Prince region. This sadness in turn has left me somewhat paralyzed. Throughout the day (and sometimes night) my thoughts turn to the people worldwide affected by this disaster. It’s been 11 days and I still have a hard time grasping the full physical meaning of what has happened and continues to unfold there. I see the images on television, in the newspaper and on the internet. I don’t let myself “obsess” with news of the happenings as I’ve done in the past. I learned from 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina that it’s easy to be pulled into the media coverage and how you suffer mentally and physically from allowing that happen. While I’ve “safely” observed this tragedy, it hasn’t lessened the sorrow, shock, disbelief and sense of helplessness I feel.

Don’t get me wrong. The one thing I don’t have is a sense of hopelessness. I know our LORD ALMIGHTY is sovereign over this event and will continue to be sovereign over every single thing that happens in this fallen world. But I, as a living, breathing and deeply feeling human being, want to do something—anything. However, I feel completely and utterly useless in helping to make a difference in this situation. Yes, we’ve donated to the disaster relief through our church, but honestly what impact will our meager donation have overall? This is a question I’ve been wrestling with. For 11 days I’ve been figuratively paralyzed with the words of 16th century martyr John Bradford running through my mind, “'There, but for the grace of God, go…”

I so desperately want to make a difference. I want to go to Haiti and move bricks and rubble and serve water and food and wipe tears. I want to hold hands and rock babies and comfort those in need. But I can’t. And the meager amount we’ve given as permitted by our present budget just doesn’t seem like enough. And when you look at Haiti as a whole, what would be enough? Poverty, hunger, lack of medical care and despair are not new to Haiti nor are these statistics unique to other undeveloped nations. According to a relatively recent United Nations Human Development Report, prior to the January 12th earthquake, nearly 80 percent of Haiti’s population lived in poverty, with roughly 72 percent living on less than two dollars per day. The same report cites 78 percent of Ethiopian citizens living on less than two dollars per day, which was one of the many reasons we chose to adopt a child from Ethiopia.

So what is my point in all of this? I’m not sure. I know I desperately want to rescue the world. My compassionate heart continues to grow, apparently commensurate with my age. The older I get, the more pressing it becomes for me to make a difference. I guess that’s why I wanted to adopt a child at my “advanced” age. I’ve had many people make the incorrect assumption that I did it for Greg’s sake. Nothing could be further from the truth. Last night a woman I had just met boldly asked me that very question. Truth be told, I’d adopt as many children as I could physically care for, but there is a little thing called “money” that stands in the way of this. I have a definite and huge tug on my heartstrings to adopt at least one, possibly two, more child(ren). At present not everyone in our household is on board with this, and that’s understandable.

Sometimes I ponder the question, “If I were granted one wish what would it be?” My answer always vacillates back and forth between wiping out poverty and abolishing loneliness. Removing one from the planet won’t ease the other one. So which is more important? See—this is how easy it is (at least for me) to get caught up in a sense of uselessness. Even if you had the ultimate power to change the world by removing one of its most pressing issues it’s still not enough to wash away its woes. How crazy is that? So what am I personally going to do about it? Well, for starters I’m going to keep on praying: praying for everyone to accept Jesus as their LORD and Savior, that the sick and hurting are cared for, the hungry are fed, the lonely are comforted, babies and children find loving homes, racism and hatred are wiped from the face of the earth, that everyone has enough… Please dear LORD, let there be enough—especially for our brothers and sisters in Haiti.