On this journey to South Africa, if I have learned anything, it’s to take time to stand in the sun. Each morning as I wake, the temperature is cooler than I’m used to, there’s a breeze that blows by, and I find a single spot away from the busyness and people to simply stand facing the sun.
As the rays of sunlight hit my face, I can feel it’s warmth in my soul. I feel God fill my cup once again and I am ready to begin a new day with a fresh start.
Today, September 2nd…I felt the sun in every moment. I was surrounded by God’s goodness and when I took a moment to spend time with the Lord he revealed to me my one. I found Ava. A team member who carries a similar wound as I once did. The only difference…my wound is now a scar that is fading and hers is a fresh new wound that is bleeding and being held together with bandaids that aren’t doing the trick anymore. The hurt and anger still very real, the emotions validated, and the questioning understandable. We talked and walked trenches around the field that is next to our barn that we are staying in and as we did I heard the lions roar in the distance. She poured out her heart and I shared mine. We shared similar instances, emotions, devastations, questions, and God used my story for good. I saw the hurt I once thought of as being unforgivable give hope to another. I saw the sun hit the broken glass that had been shattered between us both and God made the broken pieces glitter once again. Two broken people and one loving God who crossed our paths for a purpose.
My only prayer now is that he brings me another story that is waiting to be heard.
As the day came to a close, there were many moments of great laughter, joy that was good for the soul, and moments of sunlight that blessed my heart…and soon enough I found myself at the feet of Helene our host missionary (Hein’s wife). We started talking about something as simple as standing in the sun but then it turned into so much more. She told me about how when her son Dan (our team leader) was 3, she became very sick and was told she wouldn’t be able to walk again and her life was now not what she expected. For 9 months she couldn’t walk…until once again she did. God brought healing to her body and she could once again walk, but there were still limitations to what she would be able to do. She can’t walk as far anymore and her hands don’t work as good as they used to but she told me she had a choice. She could focus on the 60% she wouldn’t be able to do anymore or…she could live her life to the fullest each day with the blessing of the 40%. Just like the sunflower she always wants to face toward the sun always and find the joy in her life. To live with the hope of tomorrow knowing that when she pillows her head at night she lived that day to the fullest potential.
She asked me about my dreams and aspirations, we talked about my Momma and how when she saw a picture of her she could see that she was an incredible mom. She sat and asked questions about our story and my journey to South Africa. She could see my calling into ministry and had no regrets about the moment she began chasing after hers. As I poured out my cup into Ava, God used Helene to pour right back into mine…and then the lions roared one final time.
As the night drew to a close and the night sky grew dark…the stars slowly lit the night sky and this wasn’t just any night sky. Being so far outside of the city, there was nothing to block out the stars. I laid out in the field looking up into the dark depths filled with thousands of stars dancing across the sky, planets shining brighter than I have ever seen, Satellites raced against the shooting stars, and the Milky Way galaxy was out in full light. Purely breathtaking.
Today, I was not only reminded out the warmth of God’s love but I was reminded of His majesty and intricate design of our beautiful world and how he crosses our paths with another for a reason. I was reminded of how His love is constant like the sun, but it is also as deep as the night sky.
We will only ever see a small part of God’s great plan and how he uses a trip like this to cross our paths with someone else’s, and I don’t want to miss a moment. So I will glance in the rear view at the lessons I’ve learned in the past, but I will race forward each passing day towards whatever or whoever God places before me.
To stand in the sun and lay under the stars knowing God is guiding me the entire way.
Until the next adventure,