Before I even finished reading the email, I was wiping away rogue tears. And that’s saying a lot, as it was only four lines long. The email was from Shaun Groves and the subject line said this : Philippines May 28 – June 4. I knew what that meant. Shaun takes a group of bloggers every six months or so to see the ministry of Compassion International to children in poverty around the world. And so this would mean airplanes, lots of airplanes. It would mean fear. It would mean change.
I knew I wasn’t going. It was too far, too soon, too Southeast Asia. I am not missionaryish. I am not a traveler, really. And I do not wish for the burden of knowing.
Twelve tearful, fearful, doubting days later, I wrote Shaun back. I’m in.
Something happened in those 12 days, and it wasn’t what you might be thinking. I did not wake up with a feeling of peace the day I finally said yes. Some decisions are like that. This one wasn’t. I wanted that feeling more than anything, but it wasn’t the way of things this time.
It would have been easier if my husband had said no way but of course, he didn’t. He encouraged me to go. I fought against it. I wanted to do the right thing and my fear of choosing wrong had me paralyzed. It is the question this good girl is always asking: What am I supposed to do?! I am willing to do anything, as long as I know it’s the right thing.
But the right thing never floated to the surface. Instead, everything seemed perfectly equal. I even googled ‘how to make a decision’. I was half-kidding, but still I thought maybe. Finally, I read these words of Jesus in John 6, after he fed 5,000 people and walked on top of water and the people were begging him to know what they must do to do the works God requires?
“And Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.'” – John 6:29
And then, these words rose up from the mystery within me: You’re trying to make this about you by searching for a feeling of peace. You can go or you can stay. Either way, you are called to believe Me. You are not called to action, you are called to belief.
I don’t think it would have been wrong to stay home. But I chose to go, and so I choose to believe while I’m in the Philippines rather than at home in North Carolina. Either way, believe. If it wasn’t so, then He wouldn’t have said it. Still, I have lots of fears. What if I can’t tell a unique story? What if I can only see the despair? What if I throw up on the plane because I can’t get off the two-ton metal bus with wings shooting at the speed of light through the sky for twelve hours over OCEAN?
Even so. I will choose to remember to believe. And I would be so honored if you would choose to believe on my behalf as well. Our team leaves Saturday May 28. You can follow our trip, as we will be blogging everyday while we are there. We would be honored to have you join us.
by Emily Freeman, Chatting at the Sky