About a year and a half ago I began reading this blog about a girl my age who lived in Africa. This summer, I saw this video after following her story for that long. October seemed so far off and I couldn't wait to get my hands on her book.
Well, look what came in the mail yesterday...Thank you mom for pre ordering it!
(yes, I know it is backwards....)
I finished it in a day. As I sit here and type, on my very own laptop, I just got out of a shower that I was able to warm and cool to my comfort. I have eaten three meals today, and not to mention I had a choice of what I would like. I am sitting in a house with electricity and on a comfortable bed. I am not wearing the same thing I wore yesterday. I will go to a wedding shower tomorrow and probably receive dozens of presents that I don't necessarily "need".
Now, it is easy to read a story and be moved and convicted. It can cause me to feel guilty and can cause someone to think that their responsibility is to sell all that they have and move to Africa or some other third world country. Seriously, as I read, I felt a million emotions. I am in awe of Katie Davis and how she is living her life. I felt guilt for the comforts of my life. I felt sad for those that she takes care of and all of the ones that she cannot take care of. I felt convicted that I hold on so tightly to things in my life that do not matter. I was encouraged by her faith, her prayer life, and in general the way that she serves and lives.
No, I am not packing my bags and leaving this life in the states. I am still planning my wedding and still going to get married on November 12th. Let's face it, this is where I am in life and I am at this place, in this stage of life for a reason. God has orchestrated my steps and knew that I would be here for such a time as this.
Let me tell you what I was encouraged to do. First of all, as I mentioned, I was convicted about the way that I hold onto my comforts, my things, my relationships, etc. Why? NONE of this belongs to me but only to God. This world is not my home and nothing that is a worldly possession will last. I am praying that I will stop clinging so tightly and praying that I will give the Lord control...(which He already has anyways)
I have been more and more encouraged to wake up daily thanking Him for a new day to live for Him and also asking Him to direct my day and asking Him what I can do to serve and bring glory to His name. Right now that might be something simple like going to an elementary school to substitute for a day. It might mean choosing to not get frustrated over a silly detail while wedding planning. I may need to remember to be more considerate of the people in my life and remembering to thank them for all that they are doing. Or, it might mean taking extra time to pray for the people in my life, for my future marriage, and for the world. I don't know what my days look like but the Lord does and He will direct my days.
As I read this book, I couldn't help but think about my two weeks that I spent in Africa. Let me just say, that I was given deluxe treatment in comparison to Katie's daily life. Yes, I went to slums. I smelled the smells and saw the sights of complete desolation and poverty. However, I remember seeing the biggest moths in the shower, a gecko on my wall as I was turning out the light to sleep, and my feet never seeming clean. I remember at times thinking, wow, this is huge sacrifice. WHAT? I did nothing. Sure, the things that I saw did change my perspective and my life. I loved on those children and they truly stole my heart. However, I remember thinking that I had a comfortable life back in the states. I loved my time in Africa but could not imagine myself making that my lifestyle. Isn't that crazy? I mean, if my Lord told me to go to Africa, I should, without hesitation, go. I hope that I would. I truly don't feel that this is the calling on my life right now but there are times that I hope I do get to spend some time in another country.
I am not trying to convict anyone. Honestly, as I read about Katie's life I realized that being convicted was okay but action needed to follow. I certainly don't have millions of dollars to donate. I am not in a place where I have felt God calling me to see everything and move to the other side of the world. However, I can pray. The only way that I am going to truly see the power of prayer is to be consistent. This doesn't just mean that I pray for Katie and Amazima Ministries. It means to pray for those needs right around me. There are plenty of ways for me to serve and plenty of needs that I can meet. I am praying that the Lord change my heart and make me aware of needs. I pray that I wake up daily and say, "Lord, my day is Yours. How can I serve You and those around me?"
I would encourage you to buy Katie's book. Her story is an encouraging one. She seems to be a precious soul and I cannot wait to meet her whether here or in heaven!