How to Die

August 19, 2011
 girls holding

There is the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for,” but I think it’s more fitting to say, “Be careful what you pray for.”

I’m sitting in my little prayer room which is sparse except for a yoga mat, a map of Uganda, a camping chair, a concrete floor strewn with tissues.

But this is my space. My space to meet with God.

A few weeks ago I prayed a prayer, “Lord I want to be humble. I want to be closer to you.”

What has followed has been, so far, one of my more difficult experiences here in Africa. Crisis after crisis which I feel I am still in the midst of.

And brokenness.

Yesterday, I came home weary-boned and heart hurting. Devoid of strength. Of the strength to carry it all.

All the eyes. All the faces. All those who lean on me for the love that they need. 

And all the problems which seem like they have no solutions. And these shoulders, the only ones to bear it.

So I had a good cry. And asked Him the questions.

Because things are hard.

We need a new home for our children within two weeks. We need staff to fill the many holes. But we need people who want to do ministry, not just want a job. And I need help which feels long in coming.

I need to not feel so alone.

And I need a miracle for my girl, Pauline, who is one of my child mom’s from our first home, who has become such a beautiful, mature daughter of the Father.

I hold onto her story like a life-line. Because she is the reason I am here.
Because relationship really works.

Because love really transforms a life.

She has found an amazing man to marry, but her father won’t allow it. And a church who won’t marry without his permission.

All the broken systems of this world. When all we want is for love to break forth.

And then there is my health. Which has been difficult for me, because I’m not a kind of person who can easily “rest.” But basically my immune system is shot. Too many antibiotics and not enough of the right foods or good bacteria and I’ve developed Candida in my digestive system which makes you exhausted among other things.

So I laid face down in front of God and said, “I can’t. I’m just a broken vessel.

I need you to do it. Because I can’t carry all these things anymore.”

And maybe that’s all the Father wants from us sometimes.

Surrender.

A tiny white flag.

A chance to wash our feet.

And child-like trust.

I think of my kids and their faith and how it is growing. How they prayed that Charlotte’s dad would be released from prison, and he was.

And they got so excited to know how God answers the prayers of children.

Am I not His child too? Am I not His girl? His daughter?

Won’t He answer mine?

Won’t He take care of His kids?

But oh how much harder, when it is something which matters so much to us.

How much harder to stop forcing, and trying, and finally give Him the room to move.
To give up control.
How humbling.

I see so much of Peter in me.

No, Lord, you won’t wash my feet.

I am finally seeing how much He wants to. How much I need for Him too.

The brokenness does not break the one who trusts.

It becomes an opportunity to release.

“Unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives.” John 12:24

The sunflower bends under the rain and hangs her head. And the seeds scatter.

Sometimes we don’t understand these things.

We look at the blind man and we say, “What sin is in his life or in his parents that this happened to him?”

But Jesus sees an opportunity.

A healing. A miracle.

This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.” John 9:3

So where I am. My weakness, is a chance to touch glory.

In my own dying, a sliver for God to be revealed.

And somewhere in all this, a prayer is getting answered.

Because I can’t. Not really.
But here He is, in this room, breathing close, telling me He can.

His arms wide enough for me to rest in. His shoulders strong enough

for the weight of these heavy dreams.

These miracles, on the cusp of being seen.

But there, nonetheless.

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