Borrowed Words.

My teammate (and now dear friend) Kathryn posted this note on her Facebook yesterday.  I can identify with so much of it and was moved to tears, so with her permission, I’m sharing it now with all of you:

As I sit here in my bedroom in Knoxville, TN on my first Saturday morning back from Ethiopia, I reflect back on my time there. I am a mixture of emotions, reality, and biblical truths. I try to make sense of my life here in America. Over the past few days, I have told stories from my journey and realize that to so many people, they are just that, stories. To me, it is the reality that Jesus has called me to. I struggle to find my purpose for sitting through a 3 hour anatomy lecture on cells and body orientation when I could be worshipping with my sisters in Nazret or feeding my friends that live on the streets of Ambo. I sit through dinner with friends and feel so absent, like my body made it back home, but my heart did not. At times, I am filled with joy to tell of my time in Ethiopia. Other times, my heart breaks because I know that the people listening cannot fully understand or appreciate it the way I do. I miss my new family (team members) more than words can express.

I am responsible for telling America where I’ve been. I am responsible for telling of the LORD’s work in Ethiopia. I am responsible for telling how God has changed my heart in the past couple of weeks. I am finding that the hardest part of missions is not being surrounded by poverty or hearing heartbreaking life stories in a foreign land, but it is the return home to the life lived before such heart transformation. I settle for not making sense out of why I am here in this season and not in Ethiopia. I run fully after the LORD, knowing that He has every single day ahead planned out and that He has a purpose for it. He knows when and in what capacity I will return to Ethiopia.

“For those who love God, all things work together for good.” –Romans 8:28

In this season, I trust that my time spent studying for nursing will be used for something. I can only speculate as to what that purpose is right now, but I am comforted to know that God already knows. I think back to this past Sunday when I sat in a hot church in Ambo and read these words from Isaiah:

“For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me… I will accomplish all my purpose” –Isaiah 46: 9-10

God has shown me how self-centered the life I have led has been. I strive for more humility and compassion for the needy of this world. I realize now that I have viewed all of them as lazy, but that many of them are my brothers and sisters in Christ who have had major tragedies in their lives that I have turned my back on. I am ashamed of this. I am better than no one in this life. All I have is Christ.

I think back to my time spent at Little A Hope orphanage, where all of the children are infected with HIV/AIDS. As I looked into the beautiful brown eyes of those children, I was reminded that God is a god of all days. He knows the number of days given to each one of us here on this earth. At the end of my life, I want to be able to say that every day was spent in pursuit of knowing my God in a deeper way than the day before. My goal for this 2011 year is to know Christ in a far deeper way than I can even imagine right now. I don’t know what this year will hold regarding that, but I welcome whatever it entails.

“That every eye would see… Jesus, our God, great and mighty to be praised… God of all days, glorious in all of Your ways… With everything, we will shout forth Your glory… With everything, we will shout forth Your praise”

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