And Away I'll Go

8:15 AMHeather

I got this text from my friend the other day.

"How are YOU doing?  Able to sleep at night knowing you'll be on a plane soon to Belize?"

Oh, dear friend.  She knows my affinity for the predictable and the routine and the comforts of home. And while she sits on bed rest with twins, she is checking on me.

I let her know I'd been having some trouble sleeping and feeling anxious.  

"After I have stepped out and faced the fear, I have gained more than I could ever imagined and I'm always glad I did.  The growth you are going to feel is invaluable," she said.

Did I mention that this amazing friend ran her first 5K with me and my husband nearly a year ago?  Then trained for a half marathon that she completed just a few months later.  (P.S.  She also went sky diving around that time...another bucket list item for her).

I think she knows of what she speaks when she talks about doing new things and uncomfortable things.  

So while I'm being a big old baby about going off for a few days to a foreign country, I was reminded about running.  And I told her that this feels like running.  The truth is that I don't always like to run.  The hard part.  The actual act of running.  In fact, I rarely, if ever have felt some runner's high and just loved the actual running part. But I always love how I feel afterward.  I'm always glad that I did it.  That I pushed myself.  That I reaped the benefits. 

This little trip off to the unknown is like running for me.  Well, actually it IS running.  It's the running of my race of faith.  It's reflective of the place where I am in my walk with Jesus.  Where I feel called to actually chase the "more" that I've wondered about.  The more than just going to a service on Sunday or even finishing up a Bible study.  But the actual faith in action.  The actual willingness to consider what more I might be able to do and then, by golly, just doing it.  

And just doing it, not because I'm necessary feeling like doing it. I gotta be honest.  I sorta feel like just sticking with my little daily norm here rather than boarding a plane tomorrow to go with a team of people I don't know to serve people I don't know and do something I've never done.  

Did I mention that my friend going on this trip with me has a medical emergency and can't go?  

Okay, okay.  I see what you did here, God.  As I've been contemplating leaving my comfort zone, you just sealed the deal.  

So, I have a choice to make as the starting gun is about to go off.  

Do I give in to doubts and feelings?  Or do I trust the God I serve?  Do I put faith into action and remember that I know I am to go...that he perfectly aligned airline miles and fundraising expenses?  As well as my calendar and my duties at home.  And he said, do it!  Do this thing--don't just enter the homes of people in your area who are in the process of adopting.  But enter the lives of the children who are orphaned and vulnerable--right where they are.  Go to them.  

So here I am.  This is the current state of my craft room.

As I look at those brushes and craft supplies and socks and glow sticks for the kids in Belize, the children are becoming real to me.  They are the lure at the finish line.  They are the reasons I will run.  They are why I will leave my house and my comfy bed and the impending birth of a long awaited cousin whose big day I might miss.  They are why I will miss the big family dinner to celebrate another cousin's return from Afghanistan. They are why I will remember that I have a choice to make.

I can either do what I feel like doing when my tendency towards anxiety kicks in.  Or, I can remember the facts.  I can remember that the harder thing will be worth it and that I know I am supposed to go.  And that I will forge new friendships in the next week and that I will come home very glad that I went.

And so, while I admit that I feel a bit ridiculous with all these crazy thoughts about something as minor as a little five day trip to Belize, it's the truth.  I feel butterflies in my stomach as I walk up to the starting line.

But, I'm going to run anyway.

I'm going to take deep breaths and remember the prayers that go with me and the ones who have so faithfully encouraged me and donated to my trip expenses.  And remember the One who said to go.  Because He goes with me.

And when I get back, I'll tell you all about it.

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