Take Me Deeper

Well…

I’m not writing this from Asia.

Kind of an odd start to a post, and you might be wondering (or didn’t know), but I was actually going to be across the globe these next couple weeks.  God had other plans.  It’s not at all what I expected to happen, but it’s exactly what was supposed to happen, and that’s where I’ve landed with it…

Basically some form of maybe stress exhaustion hit right before my trip and really left no other options.  My body completely shut down on Monday night.  The plan was to pack and get everything wrapped up so I could have an easy, early night on Tuesday and meet the team at the airport at 4:30am on Wednesday.  I was lying on the bed before 8pm, nothing completed.  I had been pushing pretty hard before running a big event at my church on Sunday (a very physically taxing day on top of coordinating everything), and I don’t think I ever really had a chance to recover when jumping straight into shifting my focus to leave just two days later.  If you’ll remember, my insulin pump broke the week before, global travel alerts were sounding off, and a number of other “bumps” along the way were already making this a challenging quest — but they only seemed to press me into perseverance mode.

When I say shut down, I mean my body was forcing me to just stop.

Tuesday morning, after a good 12 hours lying like a log at the bottom of a lake, I could not get out of bed.  (You know that dream when you’re trying to run, but you’re in quick sand?  I felt like I was living that dream.)  I knew something was off, having never felt this type of exhaustion.  Every time I would think about getting on a plane the next day for the longest travel I’ve ever experienced, I would just start crying.

By 10am, Trey was driving me to the doctor, where they tested me for mono and also did some blood work to check my white blood cell count.

(I tested negative for mono, but holy finger prick!!)

prick

When it was all said and done, simply put, it just wasn’t my time to go…  There was no way I could have gotten on that plane on Wednesday, and there was no believing I could have been any good to anyone in Asia like I was.  I know there is a bigger reason for me staying.  In the grand scheme of it all, it was one missed trip out of many other opportunities and plenty of other things happening around the world.  (You know, the whole “it’s not about me” thing.)  God has purposes we might not ever be able to see — and that is ok.  Don’t get me wrong; after the initial relief, there was definitely disappointment.  It hurt a little bit to put away the stickers and return the gifts I’d bought for my students.  But I really am at peace with everything now…

I’ve been reminded of a lot of things throughout this change of plans.  Of course, one being that our plans aren’t always part of the bigger picture — especially compared to the small corner of the canvas we get to see.  There is always something greater going on, and it’s so amazing that we get to be a part of that when God chooses to use us.  The thing is, He’s only able to use us when we are open and available to Him… which means bitterness or resentment about a situation can only leave us closed to the higher calling He might have for us at that moment in time — a moment He might have specifically purposed for us to be His workmanship… one that might only be possible in the changed plans.

The preparation for the trip brought me to a greater sense of trust in God as well.  There really isn’t any halfway — we have to continually work toward the full and total surrender of our lives to Him.  I think (at least in the world I live and work in), we so often think we have to leave – to “go” – in order to get out of our comfort zones, for Him to teach us when we are away from what’s familiar and most dependent on Him.  For Him to teach us, stretch us and challenge us.  To give us His perspective for the world…  But the simple truth is: He is bigger than that.  He is bigger than what I thought was big in order to challenge me, and He is bigger than what I thought would happen in order to teach me.  He didn’t have to send me… anywhere.

There hasn’t been a song that has resonated as much with me, in a very long time, as “Oceans” by Hillsong when I first heard it.  It just really struck a chord with me, and it soon became the “theme song” in my head for my trip.  The lines spoke to me, affirmed me, and reassured me when I looked ahead at what I was about to do:

“Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders/ let me walk upon the waters/ wherever you would call me./ Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander/ and my faith would be made stronger/ in the presence of my Savior.”

I knew it might be hard to hear again, and something in me just knew we would sing it at church yesterday (which we did).  But somewhere along these past several days, a new line has stood out to me that hadn’t before…

“Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders/ let me walk upon the waters/ wherever you would call me./ Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander/ and my faith would be made stronger/ in the presence of my Savior.”

Take me deeper… Isn’t that the prayer?  And it’s God who shows us how to get there.  Into the wildest, deepest thickets of who He is and experiencing a personal relationship with Him.  No matter if that’s around the world or deeper than our feet could ever wander.  Even when we think that what we see is the “better” path to take…

So I just make that my prayer for our adoption.  Not our way, God, but Yours.  Your ways are higher.  Help us trust You more…

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