Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Journey from Dream to Reality

I added a countdown to the desktop on my computer yesterday. 41 days until China. Somehow I don’t know whether to dance or to cry right now. That’s the truth of it. I go through so many different emotions every time I think about getting on a plane and flying to Beijing. Last week, when I got the confirmation for my plane ticket, I nearly screamed, and I definitely did a little dance right there in my seat. I have been dreaming of going to China for years, and now God is making that a reality. I look at pictures on Bethel’s website and see the children and staff I’ll be working with, and my heart stirs inside. I am excited for this journey, a journey that has already begun, though I am over a month from setting foot in an airport, as God prepares my heart.

At the same time though, reality is much more terrifying than a dream. One question keeps coming back to my mind: What in the world were you thinking?! Who in her right mind decides to travel to Beijing, China by herself?! The only answer I can give, and I hope that this is the truth, is that I am a young woman chasing after the heart of God. I am pursuing the passion that God has put on my heart to love orphans in China. I am running through every door God opens, and trusting Him to open those that appear to be closed. God told me He would send me to China, and He has been faithful to make a way. Who in her right mind wouldn’t follow the lead of such a faithful and loving God?

I don’t know what this summer holds for me. I know I’ll be spending two months in a foreign country where I barely know how to say hello (and that I learned from a popular preschool show… Ni-hao Kailan!). My cell phone won’t work. I won’t be able to text or call. There will be a thirteen hour time difference between my family and me. I will not be able to express my faith in the ways I am used to. I also know this though: I will be on the adventure of a lifetime. I will be chasing after the heart of God. I will be given the opportunity to help expand a ministry whose vision is to see every visually impaired orphan in China loved and cared for. That is quite the vision, and God is letting me join in that mission. I am one of the most blessed young women you will ever meet! It’s going to be hard. I’m not fooling myself. I don’t know exactly how everything is going to work out (a huge challenge for a classic type-A like me), but I do know that my God is greater and stronger. He is faithful, and He loves His children. He will not let me fall.

I have taken this verse from John 9 as a sort of theme for my summer as well as for my overall ministry: ‘”Go,’ Jesus told him, ‘Wash in the Pool of Siloam (this word means “sent”).’ So the man went and washed and came home seeing.” Jesus told me to go. I am sent. So I’ll go. If someone were to ask me what one thing I know about my summer, this would be my answer: I will not return the same person. I’m going to come home seeing, seeing the way Jesus sees.