They roll their eyes.
"I want to adopt at least 3 children!"
They don't laugh because they're unsupportive, because they wish to mock me, or because they don't believe in me. They laugh because I'm Kenzie... And Kenzie gets a little crazy sometimes. But you know, I'm okay with that... Clearly.
Apparently, that's crazy. But why?
What my family (and most all the people who surround me) do not understand is that if I never have a beautiful, elaborate home, an expensive car, the typical all-American family, or what the world sees as a "real job," one day... I will be okay with it. If I don't spend 4 years at my dream school experiencing the total college life, I will be okay with it. If I am dirty, hungry, exhausted, and sharing God's love with children who might not otherwise know it, I will be okay with it.
As long as I am chasing His call with reckless abandon, I promise you with every inch of my being that I will be MORE than okay with it.
How? The Bible tells us to do two very important things: love God and love others the way we want to be loved. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be starving or lonely or homeless or parent-less or naked. I don't want to drink dirty water, sleep on the floor each night, be denied an education, or sell my body to pay the bills.
And THAT is why I am okay with giving up my dreams in order for God to make His dreams my own. That is why I'm okay with God's call. With surrendering. With investing into His kingdom, both literally and figuratively. With giving up everything I am to be everything He wants me to be.
Yes, maybe this looks crazy from the outside. Maybe I'm not like everyone else. In fact, I KNOW I am not.
I'm not Amy who has been called to serve in Missouri.
I'm not Elissa who currently lives in Russia with her family.
I'm not Misty who set aside three months to spend time working in a church in Alaska.
I'm not Tiana who is volunteering in a Guatemalan orphanage for two months.
If I know I am not like everyone else, then why is it so hard, for Heaven's sake, to simply understand that God wants me - all of me - in Africa? Why is that such a foreign idea? Why is it shunned? Why is doing God's work not "as good" as doing man's? Why does this world have it all backward?
Truthfully, I don't know and I don't think we'll ever find out on this side of Heaven. But I do know that God has a history of using the ones who said "yes." The one's who appeared to crazy. When Mary was asked to mother the son of God, I have a hard time believing she was fearless. When Jesus told Peter to walk out onto the water, I don't believe he took a running start. The thing that set those two (and so many others) a part was the mere fact that they said "YES." They were people just like you and I, but because they were willing to follow Christ no matter the cost, He used them in ways they never would have known had they let the fear of what other people thought control them.
You see, God's call isn't complicated. It's clear... And YES, sometimes it's daunting. But it's never confusing. When we pray and ask, He shows and tells. His call is simple, we just make following that call complicated. We try to justify and simplify when God has already given us the means to do abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine. I've been guilty of it for a long, long time - but today, I want to be forgiven of that and I don't want to forget the freedom that comes along with saying, "Yes, Lord. YOUR way," ever again.
Maybe I'll be right here in 10 years. Maybe I'll be in a different state. I might even be happy. In love. In Africa... With a pile of kids! Whatever God has for my future, I want that. And I have never felt a call stronger than the one leading me to Africa.
So, I'm okay with it, God. I'm officially okay with you shattering this life to pieces and putting it back together so much more beautifully. I'm more than okay with it.