Africa changed me. I went to Ghana in August of 2009 with an amazing organization called Compassion International. I didn't want to do. I was afraid. Interesting that the first three letters in AFRica are the same as the first three in AFRaid. I didn't know if I could handle seeing that kind of suffering. Starvation, the HIV/AIDS death toll, deep deep and desperate poverty.
But, I know that the Lord must have wanted me to go, or he would not have opened the door or provided the opportunity. So, after consulting my husband and my pastor and getting the blessing of both, I agreed to go.
I will never be the same.
I saw God move in a very real and potent way.
Some day I'll write on that.
Today-I reflect on that because I was just looking a video of the trip to Africa and the way that I way dancing and laughing and playing with and praying with. I was so moved by the peace and joy that the Lord blessed me with. I thank Him for that.
Years ago, like 7 or so years ago-I was a baby believer in Jesus and I was totally shredded. I hated my life and I was just pretending to be happy so that my children would think that there was a good reason to live. I felt like I was being deceitful to let them think that, but it was the lesser of two evils, in my mind.
When my friend Meg began to introduce me to Jesus, I would always say things like "Is God really love? He sure doesn't seem to love me-he had no problem killing my parents and destroying everything I ever had" and she would just offer to pray for me. As she prayed simple prayers that the Lord would send his spirit to comfort me, I would begin to feel his peace. I would weep and weep and weep. I remember one day seeing Meg and her husband Jim (who are now my pastor and my pastors wife) driving down my street. I ran after their car in the snow and called them down until they heard me and pulled over. Poured into the back seat and crying I said "Will you please pray for me?" "Sure," they said, "What can we pray for?" I said "Please pray that I will want the life I have." We did and I do-Thanks be to God. Now mind you-it's been a journey I'm still on and that's why I'm in this Healing Season today.
In Africa they sang a song that says:
He HAS done great things for me.
He WILL do great things for me.
God is good to me.
I am so grateful to agree with that song.
Now-my recipe for this Healing Season is to write daily and to receive prayer at my home group on Wednesdays and after church on Sunday.
Today is Wednesday-so I will get prayer tonight and if I feel the need to (because I'm also going to write when I'm falling apart) I'll write again.
Right now-the pain is about the size of a throbbing softball in my heart and a golf ball in my throat.
I am going to take a moment and breathe deeply into all the corners of my lungs and invite the Lord to fill this space.
Now after three deep breaths the wound in my chest is the about the size of a baseball in the one in my throat is nearly gone. Thank you, Father.
Jesus, I thank you that you've saved me and given me a reason to live. I pray that you continue to shine your light into the lives of the lost and broken in my life and all across the globe. Let you spirit come to comfort the afflicted.
Thank you that I don't have to pretend that life is worth living.
God I invite you into my brokenness as ask you to fill my emptiness with whatever you see fit.
I commit this journey to you. Walk with me and teach me the way to go.
Please hug my mom and dad for me and tell them that I love them and can still smell them when I try.
God, I don't want to live in brokenness but in restoration.
I know, Jesus that you are the healer and so today I am like the man by the pool at Bethesda crying out for your touch. (John 5:1-15)
I am like the man lowered through the roof into the packed room to be healed. God I pray that if it's in your will, that you would heal my broken heart.(Mark 2:1-17, Luke 5:17-26, Matt 9:2-7)
In Jesus name.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!