Monday, October 4, 2010 - Sitting in the Mumbai airport, trying to hold back tears. There’s been a lump in my throat the whole day, as I made my rounds, saying my goodbyes to some of the most amazing people I know. I did well. Only cried once.
Often in the midst of seasons in our lives, we never fully comprehend the work that God is doing in us. We get so caught up in the day to day activities, that it’s hard to step back and really look at the big picture. Now that I am at yet another transition in my life, looking back over the past year, the picture has become more clear.
If there is one thing that has become the most clear, it is God’s faithfulness.
God is and has been so faithful to me.
My God is a good God. The places he has taken me to this year, physically, mentally, emotionally… I may never fully comprehend or understand. Some of them have been some of the hardest places I have ever been; faced some of the hardest trials I have ever faced. Yet many of these places have been ones of complete joy and satisfaction.
God took me on a grand adventure this year, and it passed in the blink of an eye. Rescuing victims, seeing justice served, showing mercy, loving people I didn’t want to love, practicing patience, writing stories of real people’s lives, gleaning wisdom from justice warriors, learning to just be, humbling myself before others, seeing people’s eyes opened to injustice, dancing, truly surrendering, giving and receiving grace, communing with the body of Christ, traveling, and laughing at our utter humanness.
When I first arrived to do this work, it was all so surreal. It didn’t seem like reality. Yet a year later, it still doesn’t seem like reality. Did this year really happen? It was a year of sacrifice, yet I still feel so honored that God chose me to do the work. I’m not qualified. I’m an amateur. I have nothing much to offer. But I suppose those are the prerequisites to do the work of God.
The things I learned this year, the relationships I formed, cannot even begin to be measured. My romanticized visions of what I sometimes thought it was like were crushed to the ground. I knew they would be, and I’m glad they were. I fully grasp now the gravity, yet difficulty of rescuing slaves, setting people free, advocating for others and the messiness of it all. I saw it firsthand. I was privileged to write their stories. Each story, an individual, single precious life. Each life, precious to God with a purpose and a calling. A life that may have lived in a remote village, somehow ending up in the depths of a brothel in a large city. Yet a team that cares enough to go into the dark places and rescue that life. The individuals of this team have become my heroes and always will be.
Living in this enormous city opened my eyes even more. To extreme poverty, diseases I never knew of, malnutrition, intense idol worship, demonic spirits, slums, pollution, and the vast disparity between the rich and the poor. It’s not the first time of being exposed to all this, but it’s ironic how each city has different kinds of spiritual bondages unique to that place, yet they all yield the same results, the same problems. The lost are lost, and are in need of saving grace.
The person that I am today, is not the same person that I was a year ago. But unfortunately the process of growth never ends, and there is still work to be done. As I leave this city, I have an undeniable sense that I will be back. It sounds cliché to say “I left a piece of my heart there.” But, I invested my heart there, so it is impossible not to leave a piece. A piece that I need to return to someday. And I will. Who knows the plans of God… they are so much higher than mine, and more than what I could ever imagine. It’s been a journey, and the journey shall continue. There is work to be done, stories to be told, people to be rescued... and I will continue that work.
So loving and so true
So powerful in all you do
You fill me
You see me
You know my every move
You love me to sing to you
I know that you are for me
I know that you are for me
I know that you will never
Forsake me in my weaknesses
I know that you have come down
Even if to write upon my heart
To remind me who you are”
“You are for Me” by Kari Jobe