“When you do what you fear most, then you can do anything.”
― Stephen Richards
Red Panda at the MN Zoo
Yesterday, I had it all figured out. Yesterday, I was just trying to decide who I was going to tell when, so that things were finalized. Yesterday, I was preparing to go home. That was yesterday.
I have struggled more with making a decision in the past 2 weeks than I have over anything in a long time. And, what I normally tell my friends who are struggling over something like that, is that the fact that it is such a struggle may be making a decision in and of itself. I don't know if that makes sense on paper, but it usually works well for regular life. The thing is, I've made the same decision I made yesterday several times over the last 2 weeks. And every time, God has used someone to speak into the areas of fear and doubt that kept me from making a different decision. But, yesterday, after wrestling it through, I said, that's it. The decision is made. I cannot think of anything that anyone could possibly say or do that would change my mind about this.
And then today. We spent the day doing community health at a large orphanage in Port au Prince. We got back around 4, and I was headed up to my guesthouse, when I spotted an old friend, Jean Marc, on the basketball court. There were only 2 other, much younger, children out with him, so I didn't feel like I was interrupting anything, when I stopped to say hi. Now, Jean Marc and I go back to the first time I was at Mission of Hope, when he was a very young translator, as well as being an orphan who lived there. He had such an amazing presence, smile, and laugh, that I definitely remembered him over all these years, and whenever I thought of Haiti, would think of him and wonder how he was doing. My first full day this trip, that question was answered. A team was preparing to leave and was doing their debrief. Obviously, it wasn't something I needed to attend, but ended up at anyways. At the end, they showed a video. This video. Featuring, guess who? Jean Marc. As an amazing young man, who has used his tough life story to impact and reach so many others. I started crying. To have my questions answered in such a way.....
After it was all over, I asked the leader about him. He's an amazing kid, he said. He helps lead worship on Tuesday nights, and he shares Jesus with everyone he comes in contact with, including in the classroom. That was it. I couldn't wait to see him. 5 days later, I did. He was playing in the band for the Tuesday evening worship service. I stopped afterward to say hi, sure he wouldn't remember me, but he did. And that smile. Something I could never forget.
What does any of this have to do with making a decision? I know, it's a long story. But, here's the good part. When I stopped to say hi to Jean Marc today, he sat down on the ledge, and began to talk. We talked about his being in the band and worship. He then went straight for the meat and asked how my relationship with God was. And we talked about that. How it has changed in the last year. How I went from using worship to express my thoughts and emotions with God, to finding the words and voice for "regular" prayer. And learning not just to pray to God, but to listen for answers, and the amazing things that sometimes come as a result. Then, out of nowhere, Jean Marc begins to "preach". He says he doesn't see himself becoming a pastor, but I don't believe it. The boy can preach. He talked about how sometimes we are called to do things that we don't think that we can, and that we don't have the strength for. He spoke of how God gives us the strength. Of Moses, and how he questioned God's ability to use him, because he did not speak well, but of all the ways God did use him, when he gave in. How sometimes, things seem impossible, but that God is working through them. Like Job, when he lost everything, but still he praised God, and was blessed abundantly for it. Of course, he said all of this much better than I am now, but hopefully you get the gist. And it all spoke, once again, right into the areas that I was struggling with. And I didn't tell Jean Marc anything about what was going on with the current struggle. That's ok. God used him to speak anyways.
And so I sit here tonight, feeling incredibly blessed and humbled. And giving up, once again, the idea of making this decision. We'll see how it all turns out.