Trust and Obey
I sat on the couch alone, 1am, wide awake because in Senegal it was 9am. The house was quite as everyone else slept and I sat with my thoughts, prayers and desire for clarity. Everything felt strange. Sitting in my parent's house now a few days after Christmas, knowing that we didn't drive up from our home to celebrate with them and we wouldn't be driving back down in a few days brought an unsettling feeling. Where do we live? Where is our home? On this morning of our PTO (Personal Time Off) in California the pit in my stomach told me that we don't have a home. I sat on the couch in the dark hours of the morning and cried.
What are we doing? What is the purpose of us being in Senegal? Why did we leave everything to go there? Why are we here in California now? Why does everything feel so oddly normal while being extraordinarily not normal at the same time? My mind was beginning to hurt and my stomach echoed the pain. I needed to bust out of this endless cycle of unanswered questions or I'd remain awake all night and pay for it the next day.
A few days before, Roger sat with a card and looked at me and said, "you're going to cry." Having read the contents of the card and knowing me as well as he does, he told me I'd cry when I read the card for the both of us that he had just read. My response was, "then I don't want to read it." And I didn't, until I sat on the couch alone, now about 2am in the morning.
"Dear Raeanne, Roger and Children,
When one sets out to write a letter or note usually you could say one thinks through all they want to say, thinking through many possibilities of concise words to relate genuine and meaningful feelings and thoughts. Well, I hardly have words to express how extremely well written and thought through your postings have been. It's as if your readers are experiencing the journey you are on right along side of your family. All of you have such an important role in your mission. Thank you for being so honest and transparent with all that's going on - all the ups and downs knowing God has you and your mission in His hands."
The letter went on and the tears welled up just as Roger had predicted. Then there was a gift inside the card with a note stuck to it, "Raeanne and Roger, God put this on my heart for you to use for whatever. Please, please, please do not trouble yourselves with a Thank You. I know you are grateful!"
Well now the tears were in full force and I was so glad that I didn't read this card when Roger handed it to me a few days prior. I was grateful for a moment alone, in the middle of the night, when my heart and mind were troubled and I was feeling displaced and discouraged and without purpose. God knew that this was the moment I needed to hear his words of encouragement through his daughter who wrote us this card.
We have had some days where we feel very distant and cut off from our friends and family. We've felt like we are alone out here, floating somewhat aimlessly and pained with purposelessness. Are we making a difference? Are we doing what God intended us to do? We are unsure at times. We are so focused on what we think the purpose is, who we think we're supposed to impact, that we don't even realize that God is working in ways and in lives that we know nothing about. Maybe some of our impact of being in Senegal is to the people we left back in The States.
We're not always going to get to see the impact we make. We're not always going to get to see the evidence or the change we leave behind. Sometimes we just have to obey and trust. Obey God's calling and trust that He's got us and He has purpose in all that we're doing, even if we don't see it. And sometimes, just sometimes, we get a beautiful card from someone to say that we are making a difference and impacting lives.
She said not to troubles ourselves with a Thank You, but my heart is very troubled. Troubled with gratitude and thanksgiving and gratefulness for this beautiful women who obeyed the Holy Spirit leading her to encourage us and trusted that we would receive it as it was intended.