Those little last minute details pile high around me.
Loads of laundry, menu plans for the kids while I’m away, the dragging out of suitcases, sorting of clothes, sending of reminders, errands for travel-size soaps and snacks to pack, making of lists so I don’t forget to pack my own self, writing notes upon notes (to myself, to the friend who will be helping with the kids while I’m away, to the school about who will be picking up our Big Girl on which day, and more notes swirling in my brain for all that must be done).
Because I know that while all these preparatory tasks are necessary for my family to function while I’m away, the real getting ready happens in the heart.
All week I have battled the sense that I’m not ready, that I’m forgetting to do something, that there must be something else I could do to prepare myself for the dusty roads I will walk next week.
As I pack, I pull out baby clothes from bins, once worn by my little ones, still young at almost 2, almost 4, and almost 6.
But my little ones seem so big compared to the frail bodies of babes beyond hungry, beyond thirsty, and quite literally on the brink of death.
I fold more clothes, hold up little onesies and baby blankets and burp rags, and wonder what children will wear them.
I wonder about names and faces and stories.
And Kevin? Certainly there is no preparing oneself to come face to face with that story. That reality.
Last week as Adrian and I were talking about this fast approaching Guatemala journey, he reminded me of a day this past July. We were making one of our crazy long car rides north to New England to spend a week with my family. I think the kids were sleeping or unusually quiet or for some reason preoccupied for a minute, so he and I had some time to talk. Always lots of time on the 9-12 hour drive, just a matter of how the little folks in the back are doing as to whether we can use that time for meaningful conversation.
It was one of those familiar moments when the weight of the forgotten places, the third world, the physically poor among us, laid so heavy on my heart I thought it would break.
I turned and asked my husband about a youth pastor friend of his who took regular trips to Haiti.
Can you call and see when he’s going next? It’s time. I need to go on a trip. I think about the world, about the poor in the nations, every day. I write about it. It’s time. It’s time for me to go.
We sent a message to that friend that day and asked about his next trip.
But God had already been making plans.
Do you know the power of your spoken word? When you speak out what the Spirit has nudged at your heart, at just the right time, His time?
Just days after our conversation in the car, I received an email from WorldHelp to join them in Guatemala this October. I wept as I read the email, knowing without any doubt He was sending.
Michele-Lyn of A Life Surrendered received the invitation, too. And she too has a heart that bleeds for the nations. She’s cried out for God to send her, and in a similar way, after she wrote out those words for the world to see, He called. She tells her story so beautifully, so powerfully, of God hearing her “yes.”
So I wrestle these days over how in the world I can prepare my heart to enter in. To walk those roads. To hold those babies, some, so near death.
Then it hits me as I pray and praise and thank Him for the chance to go, that He’s been preparing me my whole life.
It’s time, He whispers.
And all you need is Me.
I will be blogging from Guatemala next week, October 1-6. I am joining WorldHelp and a team of bloggers to join the rescue: Operation Baby Rescue. Thank you for joining us to save lives and restore hope! You can tweet with us at #irescue and #blog4WH. To read more about the rescue, you may want to watch the short film in the sidebar. If you would be willing to give, you may do so here. Every dollar counts! Thank you, friends, for joining this incredible journey.
— Join us for a Live Cast from Guatemala on Thursday night, October 4th, at 8:30pm (est) —
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only by Grace,