I’m quickly learning that one of the hardest parts of my life is stepping into the roles God calls me, embracing every moment and all of the people I encounter, loving them with abandon and then leaving it all when He moves me on. Several years after I wrote that and two weeks after my flight home from Guyana, these sentiments are once again tracing familiar paths across my heart.
Four short days filled with laughter, hugs, cartwheels on the beach, praise and worship,VBS, crafts, swimming in the river, stories about Jesus, door to door visits, silly songs and hand motions, construction, amazing food, fellowship, dancing, the sharing of life, and as a result, many tears, will forever bind these precious people to my heart.
I’ve often been told that I have a bleeding heart and I suppose that’s true. Many times I’ve comtemplated why I keep doing this…why, when it hurts so much? The old me whispers that maybe I should guard my heart a little better. Maybe I should keep some distance so that it won’t hurt nearly as badly. So that I won’t hurt THEM nearly as badly. In my daydreams, I once again feel the little hands pulling me backwards, the tears soaking my shirt as the children wrap their arms around me, begging me not to leave them and my heart begins to toy with the idea that maybe this is doing more harm than good. But…deep down I know that option just isn’t possible. I have to continue to love with everything I have, in every place I am sent because Jesus loved me with everything He had when He came into my hopeless world.
Sometimes I wish God would allow me to settle in one place and really invest my life. More often than not, as much as I love the craziness, I struggle with this path He’s led me down. I wonder at the impact I can have. Wouldn’t the people be better off with something constant? Does the joy at my arriving outweigh the pain of my leaving? I look into their beautiful tear-filled eyes and I’m not sure. It’s a battle to trust that there is a reason and that this calling is serving some higher purpose. But God in His mercy gives me little glimpses of heaven every now and then. When I get unexpected news that a little one, such as my David, asks Jesus to be a part of his life forever, I know it’s worth it. It’s all worth it. Maybe, just maybe this bittersweet symphony of joyful memories, painful goodbyes and eternal beginnings is the song He created me to sing.