Clara, the team leader in the Dominican Republic taught us this one, "Dare to live (safely)".
I am never going to forget this lesson.
To stop hiding in my little shell, to stop fearing things, to stop protecting my bubble, and start daring to live.
Daring to step out.
Daring to do something a bit different.
Daring to be just a little bit outrageous.
Like outrageous grace.
Stepping up in front of people: my tummy throws somersaults, my head starts spinning, my eyes start spilling over, my words turn into nothing-ness and jumble and I thank God when I don't burst into tears.
People don't believe me, generally I am quite an outgoing person, I would give anything to actually be outgoing all the way through, right into my depths.
But really and truly I am ever so scared, new situations are something I would rather run a mile at the prospects of. And stepping out by myself, that's something I avoid like the plague.
I am learning.
I am learning to not run away at the first sign of trouble, I am learning to try and swallow down the desire to run a million miles in the opposite direction, I am learning to battle on through.
It really isn't easy.
Daring to live but safely.
I am learning, stepping out, taking the jump, it all takes a lot of courage. I know that I don't have that courage from my own strength, but that I can only find it in Christ.
I did step out in singing and doing the actions and playing a role in a drama at the JUICE ministries we did in the Dominican Republic, and that was scary, and these are hurdles that I am crossing as they come.
I am learning, and God is guiding me in that.
I wrote the above a few days ago now, and its just been sitting there. I have hundreds of thoughts going around my head, and I am feeling very confused, one minute my emotions are sky high and I am jumping off the walls, the next I just want to cry and cry and cry. I am finding that hard. But God and my friends and my family are getting around me, God says that He loves me. God says, 'Be patient and wait'. My friends say 'Be patient and wait'. My family say 'Be patient and wait'.
And still my heart, my head, my everything, it is all screaming, 'I DON'T WANT TO WAIT!'
It is screaming right out from the depths of me. The frustrations of finding coloured beads so that they can be ironed together just seem ever so tedious, and really not worth it, when all I want is to get back on a plane.
But still, these are the things my life are full of, carrying chairs, laughing, and joking, adding, subtracting, factorising, drawing, writing, typing, researching, worshipping, praising, reading, talking, texting, living. Just going about each day as usual, just like everyone else. And I just don't want to. I want to escape. I want to run away. I want to return to where life feels like it means something. Where holding a child's hand changes their day, handing over a cup of juice brings smiles and smiles and smiles, passing a brick, and another, and another, its all small things that build up to something big. And I can SEE there, my eyes are open to the kingdom-work going on.
Here everything is comfortable, and easy, and simple, this is not what I want.
See, LOOK, I am being ungrateful. I'm not, I thank God for the many, many, many things He had blessed me with, but still I am. Still I want something else.
And He says, 'Wait.'
And I know He is right, He always is, His timing is more than perfect.
And actually my eyes are being opened to the small things that build up to the big things here, the kingdom-work that is going on in front of me, in my home, in my neighbourhood, in my community.
I need to dare to live (safely) here too. The dangers are different, the feeling of fright and nerves is different. But it is here.
I need to dare to live here.
I yearn to live over there. But this is where I need to be now.
'Show me what to do God?
But don't let me lose this place in my heart that says Reserved, because it is taken.
The Dominican Republic took it.
One day it will be filled once more, but for now I will try to be patient. Not in my strength but in Yours, God.'