Hey! If you are just tuning into lashestolunges, I am so glad to you have you! You will find that each week I do a different challenge to get out of my comfort zone.
As some of you know we had planned and partially paid for a honeymoon missions trip to El Salvador and a couple weeks ago found out it wasn’t going to happen due to some passport issues. This past Sunday at church the stage was filled with 47 duffel bags, packed and ready to go to El Salvador. 47 bags representing 47 people. 47 bags…none of which belonged to us. Emotions came over me and I went to my amazing pastor and his extraordinary wife and sobbed in her arms while he prayed over me as the music played. I wasn’t crying because I felt sorry for myself and Johnny. Or because I was bitter or upset. I was crying because it hit me how bad I wanted to go, yet I knew I needed to ask God to give me peace and to help me trust in Him.
Several people hugged us and gave us words of encouragement after the service which was very appreciated. But I was ready to go, ready to dry my tears, ready to move forward. This shouldn’t be a sad thing. This is a God thing! This is His plan! And I should be excited about that! Rejoice in the hard times. Praise him through your sufferings.
The boys and I decided we wanted to send the team off in a cheerful, happy way. We aren’t bitter about not being able to go. We aren’t wanting apologies. We are HAPPY for everyone who is able to go and EXCITED for what they are going to do in El Salvador. So after church we headed to the store and got poster board and markers. We made signs and drove up to the church at 8:00. The bus was leaving at 8:30. We hid out for awhile and watched from afar the team hugging their family members goodbye. Then right as they were pulling out we came out from around the corner, with our big signs, waving and cheering them on. They were waving to us, some crying, some yelling, “We love you!” It was awesome. I realized we can SOOOO be a part of this trip by encouraging them, praying for them, and loving them. It was so easy to be happy for them. My heart was full of excitement for them.
I think for some it would have been easy to sulk in their sorrows in this situation. Even be bitter about the whole thing. To step back and not embrace the team. But I wasn’t about to do that. Have you ever seen something happen to someone that was awesome, yet you felt a little resentment towards them because it wasn’t you. Did I want to be on that bus? Um, yeah! But I believe in delayed gratification. In God’s timing. In God’s will. It would have been easy to try to force the passport situation, to force the trip. I’ve often looked at my life and wanted more. God wants us to want more. But I believe that delaying this trip to when it’s for sure His will, then we will be rewarded. To delaying buying a house and waiting til we know its time, the perfect one will come along. Sometimes its easy to get wrapped up in what everyone else is doing or where they are heading. To be envious of what others have or where they are in life. I KNOW where Johnny and I are heading and with God as our center, its towards greatness. My prayer is often the simple prayer of Jabez, “Oh Lord that you would bless us indeed and enlarge our territory, that your hand would be upon us and keep us from evil, so that we may not cause pain.” And as the bible says, God granted his request. God has blessings in store for us, and it was a blessing to watch that team of 47 God-fearing men, women and children pull away. I am so excited for them and can’t wait to hear all about it!
For my challenge this week I am doing it in honor of the team. I was going to be on the street team, walking the streets of San Salvador, talking, dancing, putting on skits, loving on children etc. Since I won’t be there physically, I will be here in Columbia, walking a minimum of 2-3 miles a day and during that time, praying for the team. I also am going to be cold showering. Someone actually challenged me to do this. There are supposed to be a ton of health benefits to cold showering, from good for skin and hair, to improving mood, etc. Plus, I think where the team is staying, I’ve heard the showers may be a tad on the cold side. 🙂
So here’s to cold showers and sore feet! And the team in El Salvador! I love you guys!