I cannot believe that I have been living, breathing and working on board the M/V Africa Mercy for 3 whole weeks now. Has it really be that long since I sat in Dubai and wondered about what I was doing? Oh how much I have learnt, wrestled with and found while living here in Dakar. It’s been an amazing journey of watching our patients heal, grow and come out of their shyness while staying on board. In fact, that last mention has been my favourite part. They arrive, afraid, quiet, living in shame of their differences. Then, after they have their surgeries, they have tubes and wires coming out of them that weren’t there before. They have people that look different to them, speaking to them in a language they do not understand, giving them medicines they have never heard of. They are scared, in pain and afraid that this current way of living, surely cannot be better than they were before. But then they begin to heal. They learn to walk again, tubes are slowly removed one by one, first their intravenous cannulas, then the nasogastric tubes. Dressings begin, and they see for the first time, that yes, I am healing. I love watching them discover that they are safe, loved and are a joy to the people here. I love watching them form relationships and new friendships with each other. Children who were once afraid and crying on arrival, now banter, and tease and play jokes on each others. Between colouring, and dance parties and rounds and rounds of Jenga, we all just love on one another, and that to me is where true healing and joy comes from.
For so long, I felt called to serve God in what ever way I was able. I knew it had something to do with nursing, and loving on people, and I knew I wanted it to be outside of just my everyday sphere at home. But sometimes it is easy to fall into the waiting game. I hear myself saying things like ‘God has called me to missions‘, or the church using phrases like ‘preparation for what God is calling you too’. But sometimes I find myself only pining for ‘what is next’. It’s probably wise to mention here that God does absolutely call us to specific roles, tasks and missions, and I am not saying that ‘waiting’ does not exist as a theme in our relationship with God. But sometimes I think the enemy uses waiting, anxiety of missing out, or the fear of getting it wrong, to rob us of what God is doing right now, in the present.
I celebrate another birthday next week, exactly 10 years since I first heard a clear word of the Lord speaking a theme of ‘missional living’ over my life. Naturally, I have been reflective of all that I have seen, achieved and witnessed through those years. In many ways I have always been ‘waiting for what God is going to do next‘ and seen many of my trips overseas as ‘preparation‘ for what He was planning next. But what if this is also what God meant for my life to look like what He spoke ‘missions’ over my life. What if that ‘calling from the Lord’ started in the hours of yesterday.
Have I missed a lot of what you are doing in the Now Jesus, because I have my eyes fixed on what might happen tomorrow?
Perhaps, living in relationship with God is supposed to look like this sometimes. It’s all a part of the way God works together with His people to bring His love to those that do not know Him and discipleship to those that do. Perhaps it really is just about relationship with Him. Learning, growing and reaching for more of Him, everyday. What He does with your willingness, throughout every little interaction you have, is part of His beauty. More often, it’s just about stories. Your story, His story, and the story of everyone else, woven together in a beautiful tapestry.
It is about remembering who you are and whose you are. It is declaring Romans 8 over your life, over your sphere and over every interaction you have. It is realising that the ‘calling you received from the Lord’ begins right now, in your decisions and interactions.
I’ll have to keep learning this truth, and I’ll probably always wrestle with it. But there’s beauty in our brokenness as humans. The truth that God is always greater, and together, we are better.
Quit waiting, start living.
– K xx