I know what you’re thinking: “Sarah, how obvious, we’ve always known how ridiculously attractive you are.” No no, I’m referring to something else (but you can still keep that above thought. I won’t stop you).
My whole life, I’ve been the one that’s always cold. At work, there was a sweater that I would put around my legs for warmth. I lived in my cardigans and jackets. Liberty DID have a tendency to freeze us out but I was always especially frozen. The guys that answered my work orders for freezing temps started getting sassy as they heard from me so much. At any home I’ve lived in, I was always the one covered in blankets and sweatshirts as others walked around without such heavy covering. I have ALWAYS been the cold one…
I am now officially the hot one. I have NO idea how this happened. When my other friends are searching for their jackets, I’m wiping away sweat. I had a ceiling fan installed in my room a few weeks after arriving due to that I was SO HOT at nights that I would wake up sweating. In addition to the ceiling fan, I have a fan by my head that I use on extra hot nights (which is most, to me). At the same time, we got a ceiling fan installed in the living room and it is I that always begs to have it turned on. Lately, due to rainy season, it’s been much cooler here in Kampala. One night, I even pulled out a blanket and put socks on. I haven’t have socks on my feet since I arrived (I think. This can’t be confirmed because I really don’t remember). It does increase sympathy towards all of my family, friends, co-workers and roommates that I’ve had, especially the ones that were always hot. So, to you I say, I’m sorry. I now know how you feel. It’s not fun. I probably put you through all sorts of hot and uncomfortable temperatures and for that, I am sorry.
All this to say, I am most likely going to die when I’m back in the States for Christmas. I’ve gotten more used to this tropical climate and I cannot imagine what cold feels like anymore which, frankly, is an awesome thing. For those that I will see in Lynchburg and Cedar Rapids, get the warm blankets ready. I’ll bring my own socks.
I was thinking today of how insane the last year of my life has been. Last June, my life was thrown a part. I cancelled my plans to move to Thailand and wondered what in the WORLD God was doing. July and August were spent searching various organizations to see where God was guiding. I had many long conversations with different organizations and friends. I remember when God had closed doors so that the only two options left were missions organizations. Missions!? Lord, are you serious? Raise support? Be dependent on people?...and even more, be dependent on You? Missions was a big one to swallow but even after that, I had to make a choice. I was getting antsy. I just wanted to GO into the world and serve Him but I was stuck. I had to choose an organization to go with first. This decision was the hardest for me. As much as I would open my arms wide and shout to God, “I am willing to go ANYWHERE for YOU!”, He would whisper in my ear, “I have put specific passions and desires in your heart for My glory”. Oh, but I was willing. I got a gold star in willingness. Unfortunately, in that willingness, I threw aside all that I knew God had put in my heart to do.
I remember the conversation clearly. I was talking with Jeremy at WorldVenture. Jeremy still deserves a huge raise for dealing with me during this time…or at least some kind of extra cool jewel on his crown in heaven. We had many conversations on where God was leading me and why him and his wife had chosen WorldVenture. I always knew that WorldVenture was the best organization, I just wasn’t sure if it was best for ME. In that conversation, Jeremy asked if I needed options to see to help me decide. I emphatically said “YES!” and he sent me about six options in Africa. I read through the descriptions and stopped on this option with an organization called Hope Alive! I went to their website, read what they did and…stopped. I got this weird feeling in my stomach. Chills began on my arms. Everything they did fulfilled the passions and desires that God had put on my heart. It was almost too good to be true. I quickly sent the link to Maria and called her.
Me: You need to go to the website I just sent you…like, now.
Maria (while reading): Sarah, this is everything you’ve ever prayed about. This is YOU!
Me: I KNOW! Isn’t it SO SCARY!?
At that moment, I knew what God was doing. I couldn’t believe it. I was so willing to go to a place that I knew I would hate to do something that I wasn’t passionate about and…why? God had the PERFECT option for me. He is too good to me.
That was…September, I think? I started the application process for WorldVenture in which they searched every nook and cranny in my life to see if I was normal. Officially, I am normal. Whew. I didn’t find out those results until late December/early January. The pressure of knowing if I was normal or not was overwhelming. Ok, not really. Those months in between were so up in the air. I just kept thinking, “what if I’m not accepted? What if God has something else up His sleeve? Could He? This seems so perfect.” I wondered if I should have some kind of cool back up plan if this didn’t pan out. I remember being at the Catalyst conference, exactly a year ago. As I wandered the arena looking at the different booths that were set up, I wondered if I should even stop at any. Should I talk to other NGO’s? Missions organizations? Step by step, God kept the door open. Step by step, I passed the different tests until I found out that I was officially accepted. God had paved the way.
Once I had been accepted, life went crazy. The thought of raising support with the addition of the unknown timeline of when I’ve be moving thousands of miles away to another continent made me shake. While God provided friends who came alongside me during my church visits (Mary!!!) and those who prayed for me during that time (You!!), He was paving the way. Step by step.
In ways, I still can’t believe I’m here. In ways, I can’t believe HE did it. Wow. I am blessed in more ways than I could ever deserve. This past year has been insane and I could never imagine all that He would do.
And step by step He leads me, and I will follow Him all of my days…