Back in 2011 I was about to embark on a new adventure in my life. My first mission trip, EVER. This was exciting and nerve-racking. I had to raise $2,900 for two weeks in China. I’m not the kind of person that likes to ask for things, especially money. So fundraising was very much out of my comfort zone. When I wrote my letter, I was nervous handing them out or talking about with others because I felt like a beggar. I didn’t know how much pride I had to lay down for this trip and it was very uncomfortable.
As the trip got closer, I was becoming broke with every pay check. I had a friend that was trying to stay in this bible school that our church is connected with and things of importance to pay for, along with my trip. Although the money was coming in, by the end of October I was still over a $1,000 short. Our day to leave was November 7th, I was becoming increasingly nervous about not making my goal before the date and started throwing in the towel. The week before my trip, I made a donation account for people to send money online. I was getting phone call/email reminders from Josh, who’s over missions finances at our church, saying how short I was. In my head I drafted apology letters to those that gave, saying I’d give them their money back as soon as I can. I felt that God wasn’t going to allow me to go on this trip because of the circumstances and it brought me to a whole new low. Four days before my leave date, I was talking on the phone with my dad who had no idea I was supposed to leave for the country shortly. In the middle of the call, Josh calls me. He tells me that he has good news and bad news. The bad news, I still owe money for my trip (figures), the good news: someone anonymously donated $1,100 dollars. After doing the calculations, I only owed 75 dollars which a sweet friend from Fusion gave after I told her the news.
I was floored, relieved, overwhelmed and crying like a baby. I called my mom and brother who were up north with family and my dad and told them the news. I was at a lost for words and started praising God all over my house before leaving for work that day.
Fast forward a year and some months, I inspired a friend from a past small group to go to China this coming March for her first mission trip. She’s been glowing with excitement and bursting with what could be and I’ve filled her in on the amazing things that I encountered on my trip. Her amount is the same as mine and she needs to have $1,175 in today to make up 50% of the cost. I received the text from her asking for prayer. I immediately felt the need to clear out my car savings account (which isn’t much because I keep dipping in it. Don’t judge!) and give her what I have. Because I so desperately want her to go. I thought of all the money I can give her after paying a bill and gas. It would never be much, but it would help her any way possible to closer meet her goal.
Here’s a little fact about me: I’m a fixer. A control freak. I like playing God when I think God is moving “too slow”. I like to feel like I made things happen faster for myself and for others. When I give advice, I want you to listen and obey because I feel like I know what’s best. When you don’t, I feel insulted and I start blocking you out or holding grudges against you. I hate that I’m like this, but I’m trying to hand over the reigns to God. I come across scriptures about how God works everything in his timing and it erks me. I hear songs and pastors talking about it and my eye twitches. It’s a horrible thing to realize about yourself and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I’ve recently figured out that my need for control stems from my unbelief in God and his timing for the things I want, even after he did the best thing ever for my trip. I’ve learned that when I feel God isn’t paying attention or doesn’t care, I lose trust and faith in him and I take matters into my own hands saying “I got it from here”. I stretch myself, to be anything and everything, everywhere for people, even when they aren’t that way for me. I give what I can, wearing my invisible cape, and just go. Releasing my death grip on the reigns is harder than I ever thought possible and now that I know clearly the root of my problem, I need to do something. Cut it, burn and throw away the mess.
I need to do anything and everything to make sure that co-dependency issue doesn’t take root again. I need to hope, have faith, trust in God’s timing and his plans for my life and everyone in it. I need a refocus, reroute and start where I left off before I got off path. Why? Playing God is hard work and my mere human self doesn’t and will never have the qualifications to fill that job description.