(This post was written sometime in early July.)
Estter is the director of the camp we are leading here in Barcelona right now. She is a beautifully passionate 28 year old with plugs in her earlobes, a couple dread locks with beads under her perfectly wild curls, and a tattoo on her wrist of the world-map. She is the kind of girl that you would expect to see sitting in a park somewhere with a bunch of hippies playing djembe drums or dancing around on the beach with her layers of colorfully thrifted clothes bouncing around as she moves.
But instead she spends her days here with us at this camp for Spanish youth. I snapped this photo during one of our morning staff meetings. She thinks it makes her look serious.
I think it makes her look awesome.
I cried the morning the camp started. I didn't want to work the camp. Not even a little.
Shaun had been telling me for months that it would be good for us to serve this ministry and I believed him, because he is usually right about these things, but I still cried. I tearfully told him I was angry that we were doing this. I was not angry enough to quit, just angry enough to cry and need a hug and some hearty encouragement.
If God sees everything we are doing here on earth, and if we really are getting treasures in Heaven for all of the ways we please His heart, I expect that Shaun will get at least double the treasures I get. Because he is the one who puts up with my not-so-put-together-behind-the-scenes self... which could also be called my should-be-on-a-reality-show-nutso-crazy-I'm-embarassed-for-her self.
So Shaun hugged me. He reminded me of all the times I have been surprised by how incredibly things like this have turned out before. Like the time we agreed to lead a group of formerly drug addicted young people (like 2 months fresh from hardcore drugs) on an evanglistic outreach in southern California where everyday they were expected to hit the streets and tell people about Jesus and I literally bawled to Shaun before it started because I felt so out of my element. I did it anyway and it ended up being the best ever. I still tell stories from that trip because of all of the crazy and incredible things that happened.
Like the time a guy got healed in the street when two of ours friends prayed for him. It happened right after the guy had been cussing at our friends for talking about Jesus & instead of retreating our friends said, "Fine let us pray for your injured arm (the guy had his arm in a make-shift sling) and you'll see that our God can heal you. The guy agreed, but scoffed arrogantly during the prayer. After the prayer, I kid you not, the guy was healed! He started full on tripping out, moving his arm around and exclaiming things like "What the F*%^!? Jesus Christ just healed me!!"
I was completely blown away too. But my exclamations were less colorful.
Anyway. Needless to say, Shaun is usually right about things. Especially when it comes to trusting Jesus. He was right this time too. I could write an entire post about Shaun being right, and I probably should, just to honor him for all of the times I have doubted him.
But that's not this post.
This post is a reminder that God can handle our emotions. I'm learning that. In those excruciating times when I desperately want to trust Him, and I want to love people well, and I want to be brave, but inwardly I actually I feel like quitting everything and being a stay at home mom without any kids... God can handle it. He is patient to hear my cries, comfort my aching heart, remind me of His faithfulness, and then give me the strength I need to obey Him. What a relief.
The camp has been a gift. Straight from the Hands of Heaven. I am having fun, learning a lot, and watching lives get changed. My emotions are back in check too. Instead of feeling like Britney Spears when she shaved her head, things have gotten more Mother Theresa-ish... still requiring more of me than normal, but I'm smiling more than normal too.
All that to say friends, just trust God. Definitely cry when you need to, and hug a nearby loved one too, but ultimately just keep trusting Him. Even when He calls you to do things that are hard and scary.
He will be faithful. Beyond what you could ask for or imagine.
Also Estter could be anywhere else in the world right now. But she is here. Giving her time to a bunch of teenagers who hardly know her and couldn't care less about what she gave up to spend her summer with them. I admire her for her sacrifice. I also admire her radical love for Jesus. It's evident in the way she loves all of us.
I want to be like Estter. & I just thought you guys should know.
Ps. I hope I didn't offend you by comparing myself to Mother Theresa. I am not really on her level yet and I'm aware. I also hope I didn't offend Britney Spears by bringing up the head-shaving incident. There's no shame girlfriend. I have had plenty of moments I'd rather ignore too.
Sorry yours got blasted all over international news.