I never intended to be a world traveler. Growing up overseas I was exposed to a lot at a young age. Four day weekend? How about a trip to China. Spring break? Let’s spend it in Malaysia. Three weeks for Christmas and New Years? Let’s road trip in New Zealand. I saw more before I turned ten than most people see in their lifetimes.
And yet when it was my turn to decide how I wanted to live my life and what I wanted it to be about, I wasn’t quite sure the role traveling could or would play.
As I sit in the airport headed home from my third continent and new country in six months, my mind is still trying to understand how I became a world traveler as an adult.
I’m thinking it may have something to do with surrender.
After I graduated from college and moved home, I felt so lost. I would go to job interviews and they would ask me what my long term goals were and all I could think about was how short term I really, really wanted a job. Wouldn’t you hire me? And I would come home and cry out to the Lord asking for direction, to know what He wanted to do with my small life and big heart ready to go where and when He called.
Halfway through the summer, working in retail, my mindset shifted. How could I expect God to do big things with my life if I wasn’t willing to be faithful in the small things He had called me to in this season? The short answer: I couldn’t.
God wasn’t asking me to prove my faithfulness, but He was starting here, in small ordinary moments, to show me how to be a good steward of the opportunities He was creating. I wish I could say I was excited about these small ordinary moments, that I bounced out of bed ready to go fold clothes for the glory of God, but I didn’t quite do that right away. It’s been a journey, of recognizing the responsibility I have everyday to build the Kingdom of God wherever I am, in whatever I do.
That’s what surrender has come to mean to me. It’s not so much these grand prayers on worn knees, but a belief in a plan bigger than mine and a realization of my responsibility in that plan. It’s a daily, “Your way, not my own, Lord,” even when I can’t say it without crying.
It was a big week. I saw things in Congo that I’ve never seen before and I may never see again. I found myself trying to answer, “Why me? Why has this experience been given to me?” I know people a million times better at writing about their experiences, some much more skilled at raising money, others with gifting to take photos and share the experiences, all better than me.
And yet it was me. I traveled. I’ve now seen even more. It’s a privilege I don’t want to take lightly. It would be easy to claim I’ve earned it, but I haven’t.
It started with surrender. Surrender in the small moments has led to these bigger experiences. And hasn’t quite ended yet.
So what now? All I know is that I don’t want to rush the process. I want to sit in it. I want to let what I’ve seen change me. I want the experiences to make me a more vivid storyteller, a more passionate advocate and a better steward.
It may also be fun to read this blog that was posted on my old blog in June 2013: Here