Life is not a bubble.
As much as I try to create a comfort-friendly, safe-zone that happens to be flimsy, translucent and encircles me, life is not a bubble.
We spent New Year’s Eve with German, British, Irish, and two other American missionaries who were all so fabulous in every unique way possible. I loved investing in them, getting to know them and sharing our deep love for the Savior with them. I loved praying in the year, singing worship songs, and aligning our hearts to seek Christ in all things in 2012. But that sweet, little, enjoyable bubble I created didn’t last.
Let me back up a little. Can I be totally honest here? Of course I can. This is my blog. I didn’t want the Europeans to come over on New Year’s Eve. I thought, “Thirteen people? Here? I can’t entertain that many people. What if they have an awful time and hate us?” Anxiety set in. Of course, these thoughts were highly irrational. I usually am able to humble myself and admit this after I’ve had a rare case of irration-ability (yes, I made that word up). Nonetheless, this was not the first time that week that fears, anxieties, and undealt with emotions have had a foothold/stronghold effect on me.
Sometimes here, I have a fear of going outside. Sounds crazy huh? Just wait, it really isn’t that insane. It is easier to stay inside than to see the faces of the women who are living, begging for food and money on our street. It is easier to hide from the hundreds of Talibe boys who grow up without family, who beg on the streets, and who are often sexually abused. It is just easier for your heart not to break for the people here who do not know the name of the One who brings salvation.
[So, insert bubble.] Last week, my bubble was my home. Once that bubble was burst, I recreated it briefly with our new Euro-American city. Now that they have all left Dakar, and we’re back to work, my bubble has burst once again. And this time, it is good. It hurts, but it is so good.
Bubbles don’t work. They are not reality.
My reality is that I serve with a team of eight Christ-followers in a nation where 95% of people do not have hope, where up to 12 students live together in one dorm that is smaller than my kitchen, where friends have been kicked out of their homes for giving their lives to Jesus, where friends do not know where their next meal is going to come from. I am serving God in a place where He is. Despite the circumstances, despite what my anxieties, fears, and failures try to tell me, God is here and He is good.
The reality is that God wants to use me here. I’m realizing that ministry is going to look different in Senegal than I thought it would three months ago. And that’s okay. I am learning that I’m here because God lead me here. He wants to lead me still. Despite my expectations of what everyday “should” look like, I am praying that I would follow faithfully in every moment. I am praying that I would surrender to the Spirit’s prompting even if it doesn’t fit into my schedule. I pray that I would put His will before my will in all things. I pray that I would commit to trusting Him for my security instead of running to things I feel I have control over.
My security and comforts are being gently removed so that the only thing I have left is Christ. And I pray the same for you. I am being beautifully broken in the sweetest way possible. And all I want to know is Christ and Him crucified.