shifts in balance

Sometimes, the words just don't come. I've tried to sit down and write for awhile - but nothing forms. Thoughts are stirring - no doubt. I sense His presence but recognize the dry spell - the feeling of needing something, anything to remind me that not only is He here, but he hears.

Last week I had a moment of brief emotional breakdown. Crying on the phone with my parents, I lamented the discrepancy between Kibera and America, my inability to land a local job, my loneliness...and it was if the weight of the world came and landed itself on my heart. You think I'm being over-dramatic. I'm not. Perhaps it was the processing of Kibera finally breaking through. Perhaps it was the letting go of my what should happen vs. God's will. Whatever it was, it was deep and heavy and ground-shifting. I left that conversation weightier. I wanted more. More of what He wants - more of His movement in my life. I had a taste in Kibera of our God is, and in the middle of my hotel room with snot running down my nose and my parents' prayers echoing in my ear, my heart burst with expectation.

And this is the place in which I find myself: broken, frustrated, grieving...yet clinging to hope.

Perhaps you've heard, but an American died in the Kampala bombings. His name? Nate Henn. I remember when I first met him via skype. His sister and the rest of the Texas Roadies stayed at the house for a week while they hit up Austin, Waco and the surrounding central Texas area. One night Brynne and Nate met up via skype while I sat next to her on the couch, working on my laptop. Their closeness was evident - and I remember feeling a twinge of jealousy at her having an older brother.

Later that month, Russ & Nate would form a close bond as part of the "Beast Coast" Rescue Rider team. For a week, they traveled from Boston to Harrisburg to Richmond to Chicago...all in the name of love. We have pictures of this adventure all over our house, and every time I pass by, I think of this moment in our lives where we felt rich and full and aided by an internal Director - completely sovereign and loving and carrying us to where we needed to rest.

I also think of Nate.

When he left for Uganda, no one anticipated the outcome. When I joined his group in order to spread the word and raise funds for his trip, I had no idea what was in store. I think a lot of times, the darkest moment seems overwhelmingly grim.

We lose someone. We can't find a job. We feel lonely. We've lost purpose.

However, when I was on the phone with my father last week, he said something that's been pushing its way through my heart these past few days.

Often times, we have a plan. But God' s plan is infinitely sweeter. Infinitely wiser. Infinitely better.

I cannot explain these past few weeks. I cannot explain what my heart experienced in the red dirt of Kibera. I cannot explain why a job looks so promising and then falls through. I cannot explain why someone like Nate happened to be at the rugby club watching soccer at the exact moment of the bombings.

But I'm slowly learning.

I'm slowly learning that my experiences in Kibera are not over. My realizations about this place that captured my heart did not end in tear-filled goodbyes or red-eye flights. God is still working - still molding - still pruning.

I'm slowly learning that my plan does not always = what God desires. I'm also slowly learning that what God desires for my life far exceeds my expectations. It takes trust. faith. struggle. hope. But my God is not through with me yet. These dreams He's placed in my heart mean something. So I will pursue them - waiting for His provision.

Most importantly, I'm slowly learning about seeds. Since Nate's death there have been countless articles written about his life. And as I began thinking about the significance - that the one American who died happened to be this radical, fun-loving, vivacious and hilarious volunteer who absolutely adored his Savior - it made a bit more sense. My God had a bigger plan. He knew Innocent would be with Nate. He knew Innocent would have a chance to share his heart about peace and justice on CNN - and he knew others would hear this and say "yes. This is what I have been looking for - this peace."

Because there is nothing lost when you die for the cause of love.

Now? I'm still restless. I still feel the unsettling nature of a balance shifting...

...but for the first time I believe it's shifting towards a spectacular understanding of His purpose.

Below is a video describing Nate & Innocent's relationship - it's beautiful.


Posted on July 16, 2010 and filed under africa.