I expected saying goodbye would be extremely difficult, but you can't really prepare yourself for something you've never done before. My puffy eyes remind me of the constant tears I've cried over the past 24 hours. I felt like this day would never actually come, the day I would leave my loved ones to travel for 48 hours to the other side of the world by myself. Reality set in though as the goodbyes began to be unavoidable. Last night, as Brad and I sat up on my roof putting off the inevitable, I gasped between sobs that I don't want to do this. I couldn't do it. Who's crazy idea was this??? I can't leave. I want to stay home with my family. All the normality of my life at home came to the forefront of my mind...I want to workout with Kala in the morning and help Kristi clean. I want to take the kids to the pool and sing "read your Bible, pray everday" with them. I want to go on a date with Brad. I want to cuddle up next to him and share inside jokes. I want to enjoy family supper followed by jumping on the trampoline with the kids and playing games outside as we're surrounded by the rolling hills of our farm country. I want family, normalcy, familiarity.
And yet, somehow, in the midst of all the sobs, I sense that still, small voice. I try to ignore it as my flesh battles the spirit, but it can't be suppressed. Deep down I know the truth. I know God called me to this. And I know that He doesn't call us to normalcy or familiarity. He doesn't call us to easy things. (Luke 9:57-62) Verses like 2 Timothy 4:5 seem like they're written directly to me: "As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry." I feel so weak, so insecure, so doubtful, and yet I've managed to put one foot in front of the other. Everything in my flesh wants to just go home, call it quits right now. I'm sitting in the Philadephia Airport waiting for my next flight and I just want to turn around. It's so tempting. It's so difficult not to. And yet, I know I can't. God's strength alone will get me through this, will enable me to endure. He has blessed me beyond words, and it's robbery to give back to Him anything less than my life.
Please PRAY that I will have the strength and peace to carry on. I still have quite a few more hours in this airport, and I've got 12 to sit in the next one. Once I board this next plane, no more cell phone and maybe no more internet for some time. It's me and God, and that is enough.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." -Joshua 1:9