this one’s for me. 2 years…i didn’t know.

*this one’s for me. because this blog has marked the spots on this journey (i wrote of when i first heard of africa here, i wrote of going to africa, i wrote of my time there, and so here’s another)…and it’s a pouring out my heart without much editing. so here i am. marking the spot. because there’s love to be seen especially in the tears and mismatched, jumbled heart mess. 

because love knows no bounds.

seems like just yesterday and yet an excruciatingly long yesterday that i boarded a plane wearing my africa shirt with tears streaming down my face.

sitting next to my roomie playing my ipod trying to desperately ask god to “hold my heart” per the song by tenth avenue north of course.

so many things that i didn’t know yet on that plane ride….

i didn’t know the “plan” but my plan was to be back on african soil as soon as God said “Go!”

which in my head obviously meant fast…

i didn’t know yet how much 9000 miles would tear my heart in two.

i didn’t know that i’d still be crying more often than not.

i didn’t know that i’d go through the steps to go back, get excited and accepted on staff, and then watch everything fall

i didn’t know all the grieving i had to do yet about so much and still have to do

i didn’t know yet how to sit in the pain

i didn’t know that i could pray so much.

i didn’t know just how vulnerable it really is to keep asking for the same thing.

i didn’t know how his family would ask every time i called when i was coming back and i didn’t know how hard it would be to say, “I don’t know…when God says so…I’m praying. Ke a o rata.”

i didn’t know how much i’d miss being called lerato or kay-tee.

i didn’t know how hard i’d learn to fight to keep saying haibo and eish and shame…just for a taste of home.

i didn’t know that i’d be desperate to learn how to send so much love across the ocean to a now seven year old who probably wouldn’t fit on my shoulders anymore…

i didn’t know i’d only love him more each and every day

i didn’t know how hard it would be trust people

i didn’t know how hard i would learn to wrestle with God

so. so. much i didn’t know. so much my heart couldn’t have handled knowing.

so much more that i didn’t know that goes beyond this list. so much pondered away in my heart.

yet here i sit with tears of much love that doesn’t seem to know any bounds.

a homesickness that longs for heaven. and africa. and a hug from my little man.

and i can’t help but think i’m so glad i at least got a taste of this love this side of heaven. even if it wrecks my face with tears. at least it says i still care. i still love. i still can say
“and maybe. just maybe. though, i don’t deserve it one bit. maybe. god will bless me with another taste of africa. someday. somehow. and if not…He’s still God and He’s still good.”

per Job: “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the Lord.”

Keep Choosing

 

Esau comes home and is famished. The kind where you want to eat everything in sight and all you can think about is just how good it will all taste in your mouth.  The kind where you’re done working out and you’ve hit the “starving” phase even though you’re not really “starving.”  You feel like it.  You want cake. You want a nutella sandwich.  And oh my a piece of cheesy bread sounds delicious.  Or maybe you want stew.

The stew that your brother just happens to have made.  He conveniently prepared this stew beforehand and it’s ready.  Piping hot and smelling delicious.  Except there’s a price.

He wants your birth right.

Your what!?

Well, you know that thing that means you’re first in line to inherit from your parents.  You get prestige, honor, respect, double inheritance.  Not to mention blessings too.

But, see. Esau feels like he’s pretty much going to die if he doesn’t eat right this second.

And a birth right sure doesn’t seem to do you much good if you die before you even get a chance to enjoy it.

Right then and there.  Esau swore away his birth right.

Then he enjoyed the stew…

Well, enjoyed the stew only until he finished and then got up to leave.

By this time, the exchange didn’t seem to be that great of a deal.

He did what any reasonable man did…and despised his birth right since of course it was no longer his…

All because he decided to take what he wanted most in the moment rather than looking long term.

——-

The allure of the pressing need in the moment draws us close, but the glamour fades fast once the temporary pleasure leaves.  I know I’ve sold different “birth rights” before.  Sometimes they are as simple as buying a book before shopping around.  Other times, I’ve chosen to spend money on an item that I later hated.  Choices come at us every day.  We’re constantly making decisions.  What will I wear? Will I read blogs first or later? Will I read the Bible in the morning or at night or both? Will I drive or walk to work? Will I pray today? Will I meditate?  Now, the heart isn’t to become legalistic and rule-bound.  Because that just makes us feel the weight of the ball and chain.  Instead, we get to make the best choice we can.  See what happens and learn from it.  Then make another choice.  Keep choosing.  Praise God for grace to choose again.  And remember…our treasure is in heaven.

Where are you tempted to sell your “birth right” for something that looks tempting in the moment?  Have you sold your “birth right” before–what did you learn?  

ht: Genesis 25:29-34