Something I've been wanting to do since I was a little girl; something I've been dreaming about since I can remember dreaming; something I've wanted so badly at times I've wept bitter tears of desire and disappointment over it- is finally going to happen.
I am going to Africa.
If you know me very well, you're either crying with me or rolling your eyes. Both responses are understandable! This "road to Africa" has been a long one and it is full of meaning for me- because I can say that before I even step foot on that airplane this summer, God has already brought me to where I need to be.
Let me explain. For so long I thought going to Africa was the pinnacle of Christian experience; in my mind it was the ultimate display of love for God, the ultimate expression of holiness. It took me more than a couple of years to let God blow up that idolatrous notion. It took me a while to realize that my geographical location or vocational position has no more to do with my love for God than what color my toenails are painted.
It took me a while to realize that I have nothing to prove. God accepts me because of what Christ has done, not because of what I do for Him; and if I want to emulate His character, I need to stop putting those who serve cross-culturally on a pedestal that God does not. I need to stop creating tiny pedestals for myself to crawl upon in the name of loving God.
And here's the beauty and freedom in realizing all that- after some of the garbage has been scraped away, my desire to go to Africa has remained. And now I can say, "OK Lord, I'll follow You into this next step, knowing that it has nothing to do with my status as a Christian or improve my position before You in any way."
I can get on that plane feeling excited, humbled, and eager to see how God plans to display His splendor in a context that I've yet to experience.
And when I get back home I'll know that nothing has changed except my heart.