As lovely on the inside as she is outwardly, my precious girl leaves in a few short weeks for her second international trip. From the time she was a tiny little thing, we've known her heart was on another continent--that God had called her to a place miles and miles from her home. I know, have always known, that when the Father formed her heart, He made a big space there for Africa. The stories I could tell you of this girl...of tears running down her sweet 5 year old face as she learned of other little far away girls who've never known the love of a mommy or daddy, who've never had a dolly to play with, who've lain awake nights trying to ignore the pain of an empty belly. I could tell you of a day when she came into my bedroom, her most-loved doll in her bitty hand--an offering, a gift for one of those far away girls, a precious sacrifice carried by one of our dear friends to the hands of a sweet little Namibian girl. So many stories, so many memories, countless times when God has given my own heart confirmation of His call on her life...and He continues to do so.
My girl, having barely turned 18, will leave in November for the country of Rwanda, a place mostly known for violence and horror. Our Father has given her an opportunity to combine her love for photography with her love for children--a photography trip with Visiting Orphans. Many have asked me, some reproachfully, how we could possibly let her go. Aren't we afraid for her safety? What if something terrible happens? This is my answer to you...
How can I not let her go? Who am I to keep her from following this burning in her heart? Who am I to say No to God when His word continually reminds me that we aren't given a spirit of fear, but of love? My God faithfully keeps His promises.
"Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the one who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you."
Every decision, every trip possibility, every worry we could possibly have has been prayed over and let go. In those moments when worry starts to creep in, the evil one is rebuked in Jesus' name. Truly let go...standing on the promises, rebuking the lies.
The Father has a beautiful plan for my beautiful girl. He doesn't promise an easy path, but He does promise to be with her every step of the way. The God of the Universe is traveling with her...what more could I ask than this?
Sweet girl, this is only the beginning.