Sunday, August 10, 2008

Short Term Details

Wanblee, South Dakota
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Volume 3, Issue 17
August 2, 2008

-Short Term Details-
…thank goodness I like surprises…

I trust God as far as long-term planning goes. It’s the details of the short term process that always seem to test my faith.

I feel called to return to Africa. God is leading me there, to Uganda and then to Sudan. The timing is still to be arranged, but I do not doubt that prompting. I’m excited and eager to be back in a place so foreign, yet so familiar and loved, and to partner with you as I embark on another grand adventure. My plan would involve me leaving for Africa by June 2009 or sooner, but only time will tell how exactly it all unfolds.

I really wanted to move back to Washington or Oregon this summer. I was sure this was where I was meant to be. I did all the planning myself, but forgot to include God in the process. Doors I thought would be wide open have slammed shut fast and hard. Periods of deep disappointment and significant doubt have left me wondering. What’s my short-term future?

I may still end up in the Pacific Northwest for a few months, but more recent set-backs and frustrations have left me pondering – does God really not want me there? Has he made it obvious, yet in blindness I keep pursuing my own desires rather than considering his? It will be OK if I am not able to move to Oregon or Washington, even though I was really excited about the possibility, but that leaves me wondering – what next, God? Are you arranging the short-term details?

In an ever changing dialogue between God and me, I am consistently and constantly realizing that my plans are not his plans, my ways are not his ways, but his plans and ways are much better than mine. Why do I repeatedly make the same mistakes and distrust God in the details when he has proven himself and his love for me over and over again? Thanks to be to God that he is a forgiving father who accepts me despite my continued rift between trusting him and trusting in the world. I am a fool who has much to learn.

So, where does that leave me in the here and now? I’m once again in an all-too-familiar place. I’m about to finish my position in South Dakota but can’t quite see what is coming next. Once again I am forced to trust that God will provide – he always has thus far. Thank goodness I like surprises.

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