I recently finished reading the book "Kisses From Katie". Wow. This is the kind of book that lights a fire inside of me and inspires to me to hand my life over to God in a completely new and radical way, allowing Him to use me in ways that are far bigger than myself. It's also the kind of book that drives me to better love the people of this world, especially the least of these. It makes me want to find homes for every child without family so that they don't have to go to sleep another night without having a mom or dad tuck them and kiss them goodnight. It's the kind of book that reminds me that I don't want to live complacently and comfortably. I want to be stretched to live more like Jesus, even when it's scary and hard.
Katie went to Uganda at the age of 18 on a short term missions trip. She decided to follow what she felt God was calling her to do, and return to Uganda long term. By the time she was 22 she was a single mother to 14 daughters whom she was in the process of adopting and serving far more children and families through sponsorship programs that provided money for children to attend school, basic healthcare, hot meals, hot showers and Bible studies. I find her to be truly amazing and inspiring.
I also have to be careful when I read books like this because it gives Satan space to leave my feeling as though what I am doing right now is inadequate. It makes me want to pack up my whole family and return to a developing country even if that is not our calling right now because surely what we are doing here isn't "enough". Even Katie admits that she doesn't feel as though she is doing something extraordinary, but it looks that way for those on the outside looking in.
I have felt for so long that there was a hole in my heart. Since becoming a mom, I truly feel as though this is what God has been calling me to be my whole life. I may not have 14 daughters, but I have two amazing sons that I have been entrusted with raising. What an honor! I also have been given the opportunity by God to become a massage therapist where I am able to pray that God will use me as His hands when I am working and literally laying hands on my clients. Now I am working at becoming a doula where I have to opportunity to be present for the birth of new life into the world and love and serve women in that important time in their lives. God is using me and I have to remember that what I am doing right now isn't inadequate. In fact, being a mom is the most important job I have ever held and will ever hold and the other jobs can have a profound impact when led by God.
Katie and I in many ways found ourselves at the same crossroads, which is maybe why this book strikes such a cord in my heart. I had the choice to go back to Bolivia or stay in the States and get married. She had the choice to go back to Uganda or return to the States and get married. I chose marriage, she chose Uganda. It's easy to wonder what would have been if I had chose Bolivia, not that I feel that I chose wrong, just to wonder what would have been if I had chose different. The great thing though, is that God can use all of us in any circumstance and any place. Because I chose marriage, God called Elias and I to West Africa, a place that will forever hold a piece of our hearts. And of course, more recently he called us to adopt, not one, but two babies and he opened our hearts to special needs.
I have no idea what the future holds, it may include returning to the international mission field or it may included serving God right here in our little hometown. It may include international or foster care adoption of an older child or it may not. All I know is that I want to be ready and willing to serve God however and whenever He calls and to love others with reckless abandon.