"I blogged all the way through cancer and chemo and the year after, but the year after that just wouldn't come out. Little known fact, peeps - the recovery from cancer is much longer, deeper, and darker than the treatment of cancer. My household has been in a state of transformation for three years, and while part of that is my story to share, it's intimately woven with three other stories that aren't mine. Two of them are little but growing, and the older they get, the more cautious I become about sharing their lives and their stories. They get to decide if they want to tell their own story one day."Transformation, indeed.
For a year before I wrote those words last May, I was using the word "transformation" to describe our family. It started with cancer, it grew as my heart changed while I read the Bible from cover to cover, clarity began when we went on a mission trip with our youth group. Then, out of the blue, last Thanksgiving break there was a fateful day in our kitchen where Dave said the often said statement that maybe we should just go to Africa, and this time, for the first time, I said, "Yeah, I think you're right." Africa!
Peeps, I started praying ten years ago for God to prepare me for ministry because I knew then that there was a call on Dave's life and I also knew that I would be a horrible preacher's wife. Like, really horrible.
Ya'll, God will do what he says he will do.
Dave isn't a preacher, and I'm not a preacher's wife, but we've been prepared for ministry. We are still being prepared. We haven't made it to Africa, but in May, we made a decision to leave our lives to obey God and care for and share Jesus with at-risk teenagers in our area. We moved across the county to live with 8 teenage girls in a group home.
It sounds crazy. It is crazy. It takes crazy, wild abandonment to walk away from what the world says we should have and want, and do what the Word says we should do.
It's way harder than we expected it to be - and we were told how hard it would be. It's exhausting and heartbreaking and joyous and transforming. See, I mistakenly thought we were coming here to do God's work, and I was so ready. I had it all together. I'd read the whole book, and I'd received confirmation from God in so many ways, and I was going to save souls and love teenagers.
I'm the one who has been saved here. I trust that God is doing work through me to reach these girls, because I know He will do what He says he will do, but He had plans for me that I never saw. He had plans to transform me, to break me and remake me, to flush out the world and fill me with things I didn't know I needed. He had plans to show me myself in a way I've never seen me, and He has plans to make me fully, desperately rely on Him.
Africa may still be in the future. Preaching may be in the future. I have no idea because right now I can't see past this place I'm in. I can't even see tomorrow, but I know that He has gone before me and He has plans to prosper me, so when I get there, He'll be there, too. I know the joy of living in the dead center of His will, of not having the plan laid out but knowing it's a good one.
For a recovering control freak, that is transformation, indeed.