About a month ago, I found out that I got placed on a spring break missions trip team here at Bethel. Originally I hadn't planned on applying at all, but I woke up one morning and really felt the nudge to do so. I initially applied for the Belize team and was pretty certain I had it all figured out...but, as always, God showed me a way that was so much better and more beautiful than I could have ever conjured up on my own.
I woke up at home one Monday morning in November...groggy and crabby and afraid. I was missing class and meeting with one of the orthopedic surgeons doing my upcoming surgery. I was feeling discouraged, but when I clicked into my Gmail app and read these words, I was reminded why the journey is always worth it:
We have completed the interview and selection process for Spring Break Missions 2015. Team Leaders met yesterday and formed what we believe to be incredibly strong teams for ministry over Spring Break. We are happy to announce that you have been placed onto the Spring Break Missions team to Jamaica!Though I hadn't been expecting to be placed on the Jamaica team, I did not react with any less excitement than I would have had I been placed on any other team. I was filled with a lot of peace and excitement, yet I recognized I was also feeling a bit beside myself.
"I don't know if I want to do it again," I thought, remembering the feelings of brokenness and heartache I felt when I returned from my first missions trip to Swaziland, Africa this past August.
My mind flashed back to a night in Swaziland. Our team had just returned from a long day at the carepoint and I was exhausted. My ankles were swollen, my spine was in a massive amount of pain, and while my spirit was so full, I was struggling. I sat down on the edge of my bed, looked at my dirt stained feet, and began to cry. Oh, how useless and broken I felt. There I was, in the midst of all this poverty and struggle, and there was nothing - absolutely nothing - tangible I could do to change it. I began to pray, and as I was there dwelling in those feelings of inadequacy and powerlessness, God said to me: "Kenzie, I did not call you here to fix the world problems...I called you here to LOVE."
To LOVE. He said it loudly, clearly, and so very certainly...and that is why, despite any fear or anxiety of feeling so fully broken again, I will listen to that call from the God who knows me and what is best for me so much better than I ever will on my own. Whether doing so leads me to Swaziland or Jamaica or my own backyard, I will remember those words I heard so conspicuously and I will follow the call to love in whatever capacity I can in whatever season I am in. And if I happen to find myself blessed with a season that has me feeling so fully and sweetly broken again, I will embrace it and allow God to work through it + grow my faith JUST as He did upon my return 'home' from Swaziland.
I so often forget that having our hearts broken for the things that break His is precisely what draws us closer to Him. I may not be able to change the living situations of my friends in Swaziland, I may not have answers for all the world's suffering, and I may not have the resources to make a tangible difference 100% of the time, but I have faith in a God whose definition of love wildly and recklessly exceeds all of those things...and that love is all we need to change the world.
"I am blown away that God, who could do this all by Himself, would choose to let me be a little part of it. I have learned that I will not change the world, Jesus will do that. I can however, change the world for one person. And if one person sees the love of Christ in me, it is worth every minute. In fact, it is worth spending my life for.” -Katie Davis