Wednesday, March 6, 2013

As you step out into your adventure

A letter to my son as he leaves for his first trip to Africa... Please be in prayer for John and Wheeler as they go serve an Aids community outside of Nairobi. (


I can hardly contain my excitement for you as you and dad will soon board a plane for Kenya.  Your adventure is about to begin. This is how your life actually started.  I was preparing for my trip to Kenya, raising the funds, getting the shots, when I found out I was pregnant. I didn't understand, I thought I was supposed to go on this trip. I was excited and nervous and scared all at the same time, for the adventure God was taking me on with you. Now here you are, 5 years later, taking the trip I was going to take.
I promised as a parent that safety of my kids was not my main focus.  My main focus is teaching you the extravagant love of Jesus and giving you opportunities to live it out, wildly, recklessly if you will.

Psalm 127: 3-5 (msg) says "Don't you see that children are God's best gift? The fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior's fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents with your quivers full of children! Your enemies don't stand a chance against you; you'll sweep them right off your doorstep"

You are my gift. The greatest gift. Given to me by my Father who delights to see me delight in you. You are not mine, you are His. I cannot clench my fingers around you as if you were mine to hide and shelter under my wings of safety. This is not how you were intended or designed.  You were designed to be an arrow of the Lord. To pierce darkness, to fly wildly into danger bringing Light and life that Jesus offers. I would be withholding you from God's purpose for you if safety is my main goal for your life. I refuse to fall into the trap of comfort for you. I have fought it my whole life and I will intentionally choose to put you in situations that are uncomfortable for you.

It will be hard. The flight will be long. The people will be different. The smells will be new.  The food will be strange.  The days will be long. There will be things that will be hard for you to understand or fathom of the suffering that exists in this world. You may even question God. Your body will fail. You may get sick. You will be uncomfortable.

But this is the adventure God has called us to. A wild adventure, where discomfort and joy collide, where safety goes out the window and dependence is required in a way you have never known.  A land where you can learn more about the heart of Jesus than the safety of our home. You will see beauty like never before. You will see faith where there is no material things. You will see Jesus in a way you cannot experience in safety or comfort. You will be stretched to trust and believe in a new way.

Today as we left the doctor after getting your shots, you asked me why we needed those and how bad they hurt. I told you about the disease that is there and how it takes lives of children and families. You said this to me "Then why doesn't God give them enough money to get these shots so they don't have to die?"
Your heart is being primed. You will have questions like these, that I cannot answer. That all we can do is look at Jesus and say I don't know, I don't understand this, but I will trust you. I know that you are good.  I will go when you ask me to go. And I will spill out your love where you call me to.

You will need courage and His strength for the journey. A verse I have said to you since you were 2 years old is this, and I will say it again. You will need this verse as your daily bread.
Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong. Take courage. Don't be intimidated. Don't give it a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He is right there with you. He won't let you down; he won't leave you"

Africa is a place where my heart is at home. Some people find purpose in their jobs, they find meaning in their things. They find comfort in the safety of their homes. Not me. My heart is most delighted when I am in the red dirt of Africa. When I am surrounded by the ebony faces who have such stories to tell. I pray you find such delight there. I pray God opens your heart to the Bigness of his. I pray you can see these people beyond their disease, beyond the poverty. I pray you see them with His eyes, the beauty of ashes. I pray it challenges your faith. I pray you come back changed.

So this is your first time, we will shoot you, our little arrow into the heart of the enemy. Satan wants none of this. You will be met with opposition from him in many forms. But this is what you were made for. God created you to be a warrior. Not a spectator. You were designed for this. So live big, love big, give extravagantly. You were not made for life in a nice house around children who look like you and have as much as you have. There is another world out there. I want you to have eyes for it. To have a heart for it.

I love you and you are such an amazing boy. My inheritance from the Lord.
So step out into your adventure. Leave this "safe place" and step out into the wild unknown. It is the best gift I can give you,

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  1. Oh I LOVE this. So beautifully written of course and love how you live this out with your kids. You challenge me so much. Adore you!

  2. Beautifully written and articulated. Thanks for sharing your heart.

  3. This is amazing. What a beautifully written letter. So challenging. Can you please blog everyday? You don't have much else going on, do you? :)

  4. Wow. I'm sitting here in tears because I long to have your strength. As a mama who still has a video monitor in the bedroom of her 4 year old (I know...) I really struggle with wanting to let my child have adventure and be used for God, but not wanting to ever let him experience a single drop of pain. I'm really inspired by this. God has spoken to me through you. So thank you. Thank you for your strength and for being willing to be used. I'm praying for your boys as they travel.