My first trek lead to another, much longer, month on end trip, which then led to another trip to Uganda and then to Rwanda and Sudan. Life was never the same for that girl...over a span of 5 years, I had been to Africa 3 times...and my world was fully and completely rocked. Some of the things that I saw and went through there cannot even be understood by others. I have journal after journal full of struggles, pain, bliss, healing, love, restoration and so much more. Uganda felt more like home to me than any place I have ever lived. It will forever be the most treasured place to me. Those memories find me in the most random moments...a thunder storm, the certain smell of something burning, the humidity, little moments with my own children...and those moments keep the longing to someday return alive.
Fast forward almost 10 years. I'm a mom. I have spent the better part of motherhood being ashamed that I was "just a mom." I felt embarrassed every time someone asked me, "What do you do?" Being a mom doesn't require a degree...lets be honest, it actually requires nothing. So I spent year after year hating my job...longing for the day that I could actually do something worth while....something I could be proud of. Now, if you have half a brain, you probably think, "Um you're
One of the biggest, most amazing lessons that God has been revealing to me is what I am about to share.
And friends, I'm SO happy to be learning and loving this lesson. For it is the most amazing lesson of all time.
Satan didn't want me to feel the passion that God gave me for children. He wanted me to believe his daily lies...which kept me from being the woman God wanted me to be. Paralyzed, hating the job that God had set before me, I just wallowed. God didn't get the best version of me....my husband and children got some of the worst versions of me. Hearing and believing those lies....that I had no vision, no skills, no worth, they were effective falsehoods that cut me off at the knees.
There is a great ending to this story...as is usually the case with God. God has been slowly but surely teaching me to filter the lies, to take every thought captive, to peel away the blinders....and my memory has been foggy, but friends, it is as clear as can be now. God reminded me that He placed a love for children on my heart. He is as passionate about me as He wants me to be for His most beloved young ones. That fire has been reignited...and it is burning so bright. He has given me the best job(s) in the world. I get to raise my children to know Truth. To be passionate, generous, accepting...to Glorify the Lord with all that they do. I get to teach them how to be responsible, hard working, compassionate and loving. Me. I get that incredible honor. God hand picked these incredible children just for me, to lead, teach, direct and love. Its is an amazing gift. And it has become the most important role to me. Everything else is second to being a wife and mom....and me putting my family first is NOT missing out. In fact, anything but putting them fully first (second only to God) is when I would be missing out.
You see...you don't have to be a pastor, or a talented musician, or a fearless evangelist. What do you do? What do you like to do? Do you like to cook? Start finding people who need a little extra care and make them a meal. Do you like children? Go spend a weekend or two a month in your church's childrens ministry and bless parents who get to find healing in God's word because of you and your willingness to use what is in your hands. Do you like to meet new people? Volunteer at a homeless shelter, or minster to the hurting in another way. These things are little....but they are earth shaking to the lives you will be touching.
When I found my amazing church, I was a broken, hurting, sad mom. I hated myself. I didn't want to live any more. It was terribly dark. I had given up on finding any freedom. My awesome husband and lovely sister all but physically forced me to go to this awesome church, Pittsburgh East. I went. I didn't hate it. I mean, after all, I got a break from my kids. I went back....and you know what kept me coming....I got to leave my kids in the hands of loving, smiling people....and listen to the most healing messages I've ever heard. That broken mommy, is now whole. All because a few people gave their time, an hour or two a month to care for my kids....so that I could find the freedom that Jesus Christ wanted to give me. So while it might have seemed to those caring for my kids like they were just wiping noses and calming a crying little one...it is far beyond the truth. It is because of them that I was able to find the loving, immeasurable compassionate healing that my great God had for me.
Use your talents...use what is in your hands. God gave you those hands, as little as they might be, to fulfill what He has placed in your heart. Don't count yourself out. Serve Him. Reach your out hands....and bring Heaven to Earth.