I’m an Adult

Today, I feel like an adult.

The funny thing is, this doesn’t happen every day. And maybe this feeling is just because I felt like an absolute child a few days ago.

 

It started out as a beautiful Tuesday. The sun was shining and I was sitting on my bed reading my Bible enjoying the sunshine. It was peaceful. I was content. I had chicken breasts thawing on the counter waiting to be used for a great lunch I had planned for Ben and I. My heart was full. I was happy. And life seemed right.

Two seconds later, that perfect peaceful morning was flipped upside down.

Ben had gone out for a walk. I wasn’t expecting him back for a few more minutes and was hoping to finish up my reading and start on lunch before he came home.

Yeah. That didn’t happen.

He came bursting through the door.

“Something is not right!”

He startled me and I shook myself out of what I had been reading, trying to wrap my mind around what he was talking about. And then I realized he was on the floor.

I lost it.

I was instantly overwhelmed with panic. I ran out of our little house and into the base to find someone to help me figure out what to do. Luckily, our base leader Judy was a nurse before joining YWAM. At this point, neither one of us really knew what was going on, but we were both assuming appendix. He was laying on the floor right inside the door of the house, almost in tears because of the pain. He wasn’t breathing well, he was panicking, and every once and again his body would just seize up with the pain.

I was terrified and felt totally helpless.

There was absolutely nothing I could do.

We called for an ambulance and then waited the longest 10 minutes of my life. My mind was racing. On the outside, I might have looked calm. Sometimes I have a decent poker face. (Sometimes.) But on the inside… I was in chaos. It was as if all sense of reason just abandoned me and I didn’t even know what I was supposed to think about. Somehow, I pulled myself together enough to grab a few things and change out of the dress I was wearing into something more practical for waiting in a hospital. I grabbed a fresh sweater for Ben and his glasses and threw them in my purse.

The EMTs arrived and, after what felt like hours, they loaded him onto a stretcher and into the ambulance. I hopped into the front seat and we drove of to the hospital. During those 10 minutes, my mind was racing. How on earth was I supposed to handle this by myself?

I’m practically a child! I usually need my mom to help me make medical decisions! How am I supposed to decide what to do by myself?

And that’s when it started.

I cried out to God in that moment and asked for some kind of assistance. And slowly, peace began to creep into my heart. My body was still tense but my mind started to relax.

When we got to the hospital, the checked Ben’s vitals and reassessed where the pain was coming from. By this point, the doctor thought it was possibly a kidney stone. So they wheeled him out of the room and off to have an ultrasound done. I quickly called my mom which calmed me down immensely. It’s amazing what a mother’s voice can do. I went back into his room to wait for him to return. As I waited, the panic started to crawl back in. I looked around the room and just saw dollar signs. I thought about an ultrasound and saw nothing but dollar signs. And I know we have insurance but again I realized that I was just a child and I’ve never actually had to do anything with insurance.

In the midst of this worry, I began to declare God’s goodness.

I sat alone in Ben’s little curtained-off room of the ER and started mumbling under my breath. “You are always Good. You are 100% good all of the time. You are faithful. You are a provider.” I went on and on. And suddenly, the peace returned. The whole atmosphere of the room changed and seemed lighter. And in my mind, I just knew that no matter what, God was in control and everything was going to be ok.

A few minutes later, the rolled Ben back in and told us that it was in fact a kidney stone. Then all we had to do was wait for it to… pass through. And four hours after the initial shock, Ben was pain-free. He even asked to walk to get food instead of taking the bus.

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Even amidst my panic, God is not panicking!

Now as I think about it, it seems like it was such a small thing. But in the moment, the world stopped. It was one of those situations though that seem to transform you into an adult in minutes. You just do what you
have to do. And when you look back, you realize that it maybe wasn’t as bad as you thought it was in the moment and if you had to, you could do it again all on your own. (Obviously, I hope that doesn’t have to happen any time soon. I’m just saying if it did.)

This is why I feel like an adult today. Even if my house is messy, even if there seems to be a million things on my to-do list, I feel like an adult and I’m confident that I can handle whatever happens this week. Not just because I’m an “adult.” But because I know that God is trustworthy no matter what my circumstances say.

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Sarajevo Round 2

Sarajevo, Bosnia.

It’s a beautiful city.

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In my opinion, at least. If you look close enough, you can see all the bumpy scars left from multiple wars – both in the physical and in the emotional. There’s so much hurt left over from a country that was torn apart. To outsiders, it looks like no one wants to move on. It looks like people in Sarajevo are hopeless. But if you look close enough, you’ll notice that there’s still hope. There’s always hope. As long as God loves people, there will always be hope. But sometimes our circumstances change how we view things. In the midst of pain, it’s hard to look for the hope. It’s hard to look past the wounds and see a life that’s beyond what we can see at the moment.

That’s how it felt with outreach sometimes. It felt like there was so much hurt in the city, how could we ever make a difference?

But if you look past the pain…. If you can shift your focus so you’re looking for hope instead of pain, you’ll find it.

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The outside of the Rafael Center – where Robert and Sandrina hold their fellowship and also where the children’s center is.
Robert and Sandrina have been living in Sarajevo for a while. They run fellowship and were in the beginning stages of starting a daycare/children’s center. The hope they have for their city is contagious. Even as we were doing labor work, I could feel my attitude begin to change. As I saw Robert’s hope, I began to catch the vision he had as well.

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The beginning of the Jungle Theater… where we would spend many hours painting art work and constructing a tree from styrofoam.
The beginning of starting a ministry is hard no matter where you are. It takes lots of work and lots of perseverance. When things don’t turn out how you had planned, it takes patience to push through and find another way of doing things.

As the weeks went on, sometimes it felt like we weren’t getting any where. It felt like no matter what amount of work we put in, there was always more that would need to be done. But holding on to the hope kept us going.

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The inside of the Jungle Theater.

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Watching “Bambi” in the Jungle Theater!
In the moment, it’s hard to see the impact we have sometimes. But looking back, we can see what our work accomplished. For one thing, we were able to build some good relationships with the people we worked with. And for another, we got to see the children’s center up and running when we left.

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The first kids camp to run at the new children’s center!
When we arrived, that building was empty. And when we left, it was full of colorful things for children’s to play in. We even got to play with kids for a few days!

For me, the growth I saw in my students made the whole trip worth it. When we left for outreach, we were all pretty comfortable with each other. But as time goes on, you see every side of a person when you live close with them. And there are moments when you are absolutely convinced that you can’t stand the other person. Every outreach team goes through that. But it makes it so much more amazing when you come to the end of outreach and you realize that you love each person on your team so much. Not because they are perfect, but because of who they are and who God is in them.

For me, that’s what makes outreach worth it. At the end of the day, Sarajevo still needs lots of love. But if I look at what God has done in the students and in me, it makes the whole trip worth it.

If we are faithless, He remains faithful – for He cannot deny Himself.   – 2 Timothy 2:13

That’s what I learned. For me, that verse talks about trusting that God is moving, even if it doesn’t look like we expected it too, He is.

Because He is still faithful.

Always faithful.