Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fears and the "what if" game

I've been meaning to write a new blog for a little while.  I intended to write one explaining the story behind the B&W profile picture on here.  But, that will have to wait a little while.  I decided to write about something else tonight.  But, the other story will come in time.

Before I get to this, i give fair warning.  My thought patterns are all over right now.  This is probable not as well thought out as some other posts.  But it is one of those "Esse Quam Videri" posts; it's my heart where it is at this moment.  Right now.  No sugar coating it at all.  I hope this makes some sense.  

May 31st is getting closer and closer every day!  I keep looking at the calendar and seeing that day highlighted.  It is an important day because in a way, it symbolizes the "point of no return".  May 31st is my last day of work in West Chester.  June 1st I will be starting a summer adventure before my next Kenyan adventure.  If you spend some time with me, I think that it's very obvious that my heart is in Kenya.  It has become like a second home to me in such a short time.

Yet, the more people spend time with me I keep getting all kinds of comments like "wow!  you're doing such a great thing by giving up your job...etc and doing this...".  Or "I wish I had the courage to do what you're doing...".  People have been treating me like some kind of visionary or something; like I'm this fearless Mother Teresa kind of guy going out in faith and doing so fearlessly.  I feel this insane level of respect (or whatever you call it) for going into a very unknown future.  Hear's the honest and simple truth though:  Right now, I'd like to meet that guy that people seem to think I am.  Sometimes I just want to cry when people say these things because that's not me.  I'M SCARED!  I mean, I know that I'm called to do this.  I know that.  I know that with every fiber of my being.  And I know that God is not going to just abandon me.  I will be taken care of.  I know that.  I really do.  Yet, there is this piece of me - this North American piece of me - that tends to freak out a little because I don't have a plan.  I could very easily go to Kenya for a few months, then come back to the States and...and do what?  Start over?  Where?  What will I do?  Where will I live?  All these questions.  What if I stay in Kenya?  What do I do?  Am I really cut out for it?  Do I have what it takes?  Will I find a wife or stay single for the next hundred years?  And here's a huge fear:  "what if I fail and let people down?".  And I'm not the only one asking these questions.  They all, along with others, are asked of me fairly consistently.

I know the right answers.  I know that there is such a great liberation in stepping out of the boat and onto the water.  I know to keep my eyes fixed upward to Heaven and not let these fears push me down.  I know that I need not worry about tomorrow.  I know that if I am called to stay in Kenya, then things will work out.  I have a unique, God-given set of talents and gifts to use and I know that.  I know that if I come back and stay in the US, then doors will open here as well.  And I will have a great ministry opportunity here in the US.  But, still, there is that nagging voice asking these questions.  The "What if" game has started.

So, there it is.  I'm not as courageous as people are treating me.  I'm not some "special kind of person".  What I am, is a man who has found his purpose for the moment.  And I'm going after it.  I'm not letting the fears hold me back.  It's no different that the high school teacher who found a passion to teach and goes after it.  Or for the CEO who found his passion to run after a business and went after it.  I don't mean to turn this into a pity party by any means.  I just really feel the need to lay it all out there.  For one, it's been good for me to write this all out (as well as a good conversation about it earlier this evening).  It's helped me sort it out in my own mind a bit.

And for the record, no.  No, I am not having second thoughts.  There are a lot of things that I will miss in my months away, however short or long those months will be.  I will miss my family very much.  I'll miss my friends.  I'll miss certain fun things around here.  But I know that I'm embarking on an adventure.  One that has had my name on it and been waiting for me for a long time.  I know that this adventure is going to be amazing!  I don't know what the future holds, but I do go into it in obedience to The Father.  Though there is a lingering fear, that fear has no teeth in its bite.  I go anyway.

I think that's all for now.  Again, sorry this was so jumbled.    

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