They expect you to return hungrier, not dazed and confused.
They send you to a foreign land, full of zeal, full of youth,
And they hope you will fall in love, feel grateful for your stuff and come home.
This is not how it goes for me. I go to Honduras, once, twice, three, four, five times
And here I am home, unable to make sense of my little life.
I went to mountains to have the mountaintop experience, and here I am in the valley
Crying out to a God of English and Spanish and wealth and poverty.
Where are you in suffering, in not enough, in pain?
How do you tolerate my ingratitude, and worse yet, my gratitude for the wrong things?
They do not need all the stuff. I do not need all the stuff.
We just need you.
And how do you come? In a church, in a prayer, in a quiet afternoon?
In a song, in a miracle, in the darkness of my room?
I know you are realer than real,
When I feel you, when I feel far.
You are always there, and we are each with you in a thousand ways.
It’s on these days in the hot city, the tiny church, the tall grass, that I look around too often,
And wonder how you are real to my friends.
How do they experience your love, you reality, your faithfulness?
I put on my glasses and see through their eyes, not my own.
Oh comparison, you are a thief.
My father is right here, for me, in me, with me, all around me. He wants me, he travels to me, he pursues me, and I concern myself with trivialities.
Am I the only one constantly worrying about things that don’t matter so much?
How real is that girl’s relationship with God? Is what that guy said completely biblical? How can there be goodness and a good God when it seems as though every time I turn around, people are being murdered in horrific ways? How can my room be larger than some people’s houses? Why do I have a closet full and nothing to wear,while others have no shoes?
Sometimes these are important questions, but only after I know his love, his Abba Father, I -will- never- leave -you -love. I cannot fix brokenness. I cannot analyze the validity of someone else’s walk of faith. All I can do is be still and know that He is God.
He is Father.
He is Daddy.
He is Papa.
He is Abba.
It is difficult for me to write this way, because as much as I love God, I don’t know him as Father. I know him as Lord…but Father? Father who welcomes me to his lap and does not ask me to fix things or people or nations or homes, but only asks me to rest and enjoy his love for me?? Who is this Abba?
I do not know Him, but I want to.
This year, I returned from Honduras so confused, so lost. I love that country with every fiber of my being, and I truly feel alive there, but this year felt different. I felt as though I could never really jump in and enjoy it fully. I wasn’t worthy of the experience. I had to work for it, for the joy.
I came home faced with sins I hadn’t dealt with in a long time, wondering how I could even be saved in my condition.
A mission trip, a camp experience, a meaningful job, a great family, none of these will fill your heart with joy.
Only knowing the love of your Father, who gave everything for you and waits for you to come and bring nothing but yourself, —only this will give you that feeling, that full to overflowing joy.
Sometimes I do not believe what I am writing to you. I would rather be useful and fix and mend and give and serve. I prefer feeling useful to being loved.
But it is only when we know we are loved that we can be useful.
Am I making any sense at all? Is it just me who is constantly filled with questions and concerns and doctrine and judgments, when a Father awaits?
I do not feel loved all the time. I feel like my world is falling through my fingertips like sand sometimes. I feel forgotten by God, by man.
But I am not. I am a daughter. I am HIS daughter. I am learning. I am leaning in.
Abba, I belong to YOU.