I found out the other day that my little sister is going to be a mommy again!!! Such joyful news! I already have the cutest nephew EVER and now I’m going to have another cutest nephew EVER or the cutest niece EVER!! Then I realized…I won’t see this cute niece or nephew until they are over a year old. As this sad thought set in I started to think about how I’ll also be missing my oldest little brother’s business school graduation and my youngest little brother’s confirmation.
In addition to this I won’t get to be a part of the every day little things that go on in the lives of my friends and family anymore and they won’t be a part of mine. It hit me hard as I sat there thinking “boy this is really starting to feel like a sacrifice.”
Dylan and I have always known that following God’s call to Guatemala would eventually get difficult in some ways but thankfully up until this point it hasn’t been too bad. Sure, it was a little tough selling everything we owned except for our bed, clothes, and car but God has changed our hearts so much that to us it was just “stuff holding us back from getting to Guatemala and doing what God has designed us to do.” Yes, it was a little scary giving up the good jobs we had and not pursing the careers for which we worked so hard for by obtaining our degrees. It got more difficult when we had to leave behind our dear friends, family, and church to head to Texas for what was to be 6 months of missionary training (thankfully it is going to only be 5 months and 1 week :)). Of course, it’s been difficult adjusting to our new environment in Texas, dealing with loneliness, and warring against the doubts that plague us sometimes (are we really able to do what God wants us to, what if we fail Him, what if we don’t learn the language, what if we didn’t hear God correctly, will we get done everything we need to before we leave, will our truck sell to help cover our start up costs, will God provide for us as we are trusting Him to do?) Despite all this it hasn’t really felt like a sacrifice until these last few weeks when I’ve learned of the dates of all the things that are happening after January 15, 2013 when we leave for Guatemala. As I contemplated all this I found myself thinking “it makes no sense God, I’m stuck in the U.S. now when I want to be in Guatemala for our daughter, Chiky’s, graduation this week and soon I’ll be in Guatemala and missing so many important things here…couldn’t you have worked these things out a little differently?”
I realized my heart was hurting tremendously so I took it to God in prayer. As I was laying in bed praying about these things my mind started filling with images of The Fuentes family who I have written about previously.
They were the first family we ever visited in Guatemala outside of the children’s home where we serve on our mission trips. This family has completely captured my heart as the visit to their house is what God used to break my heart and really open my eyes to the incredible needs in Guatemala. Not just physical needs, although this family has many, (3 children, 13 and younger who just lost their mother in January, being cared for by their 19 year old brother who is gone the majority of the day struggling to provide basic needs…and that’s just a small part of their story) but also their deep spiritual needs. The 19 year old brother, Walter, is the only Christian in the house. It hurts me to think of anyone not knowing the peace, love, joy, and hope that comes from a personal relationship with Jesus. In my life when I’m happy Jesus is there and when I hurt and life overwhelms me I have Jesus to turn to. These children have hurt more than I could ever imagine and on top of it they don’t have the comfort, peace, love, joy, and hope that Jesus brings. So as I was praying God was speaking to my heart about this family and the ways He will allow me to serve and love them and SO many others for Him. After this I was renewed with joy for what God has called us to do. Although it definitely requires sacrifices and we are starting to feel the effects of those sacrifices I trust in the one whose “ways are higher than my ways and whose thoughts are higher than my thoughts.”
During future times of sacrifice and difficulty I hope to be reminded of this verse that God also used to soothe my heart today:
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. Matthew 19:29
I’m glad the first thing Jesus talks about in this verse is houses because we sure are going to need a house a hundred times the size of our little apartment we left behind to hold a hundred times all the brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, children (nieces & nephews), and friends we leave behind! And what joy it will be to share the eternal life that Jesus offers all of us with each of them so that we ALL can inherit eternal life together! 🙂