I was terrified.
I didn’t want to leave my husband. I didn’t want to leave my girls. I was sure they would die in a fiery car crash or get eaten by a pack of wild coyotes and I would have to return to no one. Or that my plane would crash over one of the too many bodies of water and I would get eaten alive by blood thirsty sharks, leaving my kids without a mom to make them eat their vegetables. My brain was relentless. Nightmares plagued me over the months leading up to the trip, and I just kept praying the same thing:
God, shut the door.
I didn’t say, “God, if it’s your will, please shut the door so I don’t have to go,” or “Whatever is your will is what I want.” No. I demanded, pleaded. “God, SHUT THE DOOR.”
But He never did.
Actually, He kept propping that stupid door open. I got all the donations I needed to make the pads. I had a huge team of talented volunteers help make all the pads. We got more than double the necessary number of underwear and soaps donated. I already had a passport that I don’t even remember getting. Immunizations went well. Lily and Maze took off like a rocket supplying me with funds I needed for up-front supplies. I got more than enough donations from friends and family to pay for my trip.
Brent and I had a plan. (I know, I know. God laughs at our plans. Let me tell you, He certainly had a good ol’ side-holding giggle-fest over this one.) Many of you who know me well know I have a heart for the down trodden. I cringe when I hear bullying stories and my heart just breaks when I hear stories of people not being treated with the love and grace God entrusts us to give out. Our plan was always to be involved in missions and helping people around the world TOGETHER, we just wanted to wait until our kids were grown. Makes perfect, logical sense to me. But God’s timing was not dependent on my comfort zone and He made it abundantly clear that I was to go to Kenya on this last vision trip. Me being gone was disruptive to my family, for sure. Brent had to take two weeks off work to watch the girls. I missed Lily putting together sentences for the first time. I missed Clara’s sweet dances. (Although, I did get a “I have a whole new respect for you” from my husband after only a couple days being gone, so that was nice!)
I’m writing this to you so you can understand where I was mentally and spiritually leading up to this trip. It wasn’t easy. It brought me out of my comfort zone. But at no point did I feel I wasn’t supposed to be doing this. I knew (but wished I didn’t) that God was calling me to go, to speak into the lives of the women of Lodwar, to encourage them and give them value.
So I went.
Lots of Tums.
Over the next little bit of time I will be sharing about my experiences. Writing is my way to decompress, my catharsis.
Now that I’m home, I have littles to attend to and a house to run and a business to open back up. I have children’s activities and outings. I have Lego castles to build and emergency stuffed puppy dog surgery to oversee. Life didn’t stop while I was gone; it just kept being lived. And now I’m playing catch up.
So, dear friends, please be patient with me as I gather my thoughts (and pictures, which may end up being the more difficult part of this process). I will write soon and share every small bit of me I can.
Thank you all for your prayers. Talk to you soon.