Thursday, June 18, 2015

the safest place...

"What are you doing with your summer?"
"I'm going to India to volunteer in a leprosy clinic and HIV/AIDS hospital."
Blank stare, shifty eyes, uncomfortable laughter.
"Oh, well...uh... good for you! Somebody's got to do it, right?"

As I prepare to board a bus that will take me to my first of three flights, I am overcome with the love and support that so many have showered me with for this journey. Yesterday alone, I talked on the phone with eight different people, five of which prayed with me and, all of whom encouraged me relentlessly.
Another handful of people have supported me financially.
Dozens and dozens of people have talked with me, prayed with me, and given me such courage over this last month.

And, yet, for every one that encourages and supports, there seems to be another with stifled fear and hesitation. Often, they're the same person: an encourager and closet-worrier in one.
So many have asked, "What if you get leprosy?"
"What if you get HIV/AIDS?"
"Isn't there, like, a terrible rape culture there?"
"You're traveling by yourself? A long layover at an Arabic airport? Better cover up!"
"What if you miss a connecting flight?"
"What if your suitcase gets lost?"
"Isn't it filthy there? You better carry lots of hand sanitizer."
"You're not taking anti-malarial meds? What if you get malaria?"
"You're so pale and light-haired. That's the worst. You'll be a magnet for creepy men!"
"Are you scared?"

No, I am not scared.
I am not worried.
I don't fear malaria, or leprosy.
I'm not afraid of getting HIV/AIDS or of being abused.
I'm not fretting over the filth, the masses of people, the culture shock, or the "creepy" men.
I am not scared. 

Partly because I have been educated, and have learned how little I really have to fear.
For every "creepy" man in India that objectifies and stares, there is a kind and respectful one who resents the image that those men set for his country.
In order to acquire HIV/AIDS, I would have to get an infected person's blood into my blood stream or have sexual contact with them. The chances of any other bodily fluids being enough to afflict me with HIV/AIDS are slim to none.
Leprosy, while an ugly disease, is now completely curable, and is only transmitted through "close and repeated contact with nose and mouth droplets from someone with untreated leprosy."
Malaria is often acquired by Indian's multiple times a year. It is easily treated, if caught early, and a treatment costs about five bucks, with far less side-effects than the expensive preventative prescriptions.

Education breeds understanding, and in understanding, fear lessens. 

But, even still, I should fear, right?
I mean, flights, and car rides, culture shock, and scary things.
Here's the truth that I've discovered,

The safest place I could ever be is close to the heart of the Father and abiding in His will for me. 
He is love on steroids, my friends, and in love there is no fear. 

I gave my life to Him.
I said call and I will follow.
I said use me, for I am yours.
What a hypocrite I'd be if I backed out in the face of uncertainty?

And even if I could,  I don't want to back out.
I don't want to back out, even though I'll miss spending time with family that I haven't seen in years.
I don't want to back out, even though I'll miss the birth of my second nephew.
I don't want to back out, even though I won't see my friends, family, or boyfriend for two months.
I don't want to because He's worth it.
Worth every. single. bit.

The truth is:
I don't have a certain gene that makes me operate differently.
I'm not "called" to the missionary life.
Culture changes are no easier for me than they are for you.
I won't just magically adjust once I get there, and I definitely won't be smiley and happy every step of the way.
I simply fell in love with the Father & this is what He's asking.
You, too, can do this. You, too, can go where God is asking. You, too, can conquer fear by getting close to the Father's heart. You, too, can make people stare at you awkwardly when you tell them your plans in life. You, too, can be different and full of faith.

In perfect love, there is no fear & his love is oh-so-perfect and sweet, I promise.


  1. Well said. Never forget Whose kid you are. :)

  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and heart! Love and prayers!


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