When I Don’t Understand

My heart has been so heavy since I’ve come home from Nepal.  God has blessed me beyond measure with an incredible job where I can use my degree to help others. (Someone told me today only about 10% of people actually use their college degree.)  I have found a safe and comfortable place to live.  An amazing man of God has pursued me into a delightful romance.  All of this… it seems like too much.  I left a country where a majority of the people live in poverty.  Many children do not get an education, young men and women cannot find jobs, parents struggle to feed their children, entire families live in a one bedroom apartment, very few believe in the true God.  Devastation, disease, hunger, hopelessness. 
And I am here.  In America.  Making double the poverty level.  Drinking clean water.  Eating more than I need.  Wearing nice clothes.  Bathing everyday. 
It breaks my heart.  I can’t stand to think of the conditions of the rest of the world.  And I’m guessing this is why so many people remain unaware.  Because when we become aware, we can’t help but feel so broken for the children, and the women, and the men who don’t have what we have.  And never will.  I’ve questioned over and over…”Why me Lord?  Why did you put me here, in America, with all these things?  Why was I not born in Africa with AIDS?  Why wasn’t I sold into sex slavery in South Asia?” 
It’s hard to explain all the emotions and thoughts that run through my mind.  When I see a movie about children suffering (Machine Gun preacher…review to come), when I read a story of Christians being persecuted, when I hear another church member is going overseas to serve long term…I’m brought to tears.  I don’t understand why things didn’t work out for me.  My desire was to go and serve and still is.  Yet I remain here, in my comfortable home, with my air conditioning, and iPad enjoying life without a care in the world.  
I don’t understand this.  I want to be angry and sad, frustrated that things didn’t go the way I thought they should, frustrated because I couldn’t help people like I thought I was called to.  But, I can’t be angry.  That won’t solve anything.  I’m constantly reminded by my boyfriend that God still has a plan and purpose for my life.  I have not mess up my future.  God has not forgotten about me.  He has greater things to come.  And most importantly, I have a mission here, where I am to serve the people around me. 
My eyes have been opened the past few days as I look around my city.  We may not have the same problems I’ve seen in third world countries, and we may do a good job hiding our failures and pain, but America, as great of a country it is, it is also a country full of poverty, full of brokenness, children suffering, single parents without hope, elderly with no one to care for them, people without the Lord.  Two specific examples I’ve seen this week. I went on site visits with my job to see elderly homeowners who need assistance remodeling their homes to make them livable.  As I walked through some of the homes, I broke.  Seeing lovely men and women in MY country living in homes that are literally falling down around them, and there is nothing at all they can do about it being limited by their health and finances.  How does this happen?  With all the wealth and resources and power our country has? 
A second issue dear to my heart is human trafficking.  I’ve been looking into volunteer work and have heard scary statistics of Oklahoma being a hub for trafficking children and women.  Sadly, I wasn’t surprised when I discovered it’s true.  America, and our state, traffics boys, girls, women, and men for labor work, sex industry, pornography.  Human beings just like you and I.  Coming from all over the world to be traded, to be transported, and to work in MY state.  And it happens every single day. 
Emotionally it has been a rough month or so transitioning from serving full time as a missionary, to working full time in the corporate world.  I’m learning that just because I’m not a labeled “missionary” doesn’t mean God has not called me to be a missionary right where I am.  I’m learning that just because I’m not serving in a third world country that seems to need more help than America doesn’t mean I’m not making a difference in the lives of the people I touch.  I’m learning just because I can’t change the world and start a mega business that saves every victim doesn’t mean that the things God can use me to do don’t matter. 
I hope that somehow you can relate to my experiences.  I hope that your heart is broken for the nations, for our country, and for our state.  For your very neighborhood.  I hope that you see that life is about more than just being comfortable and making ourselves happy, but it’s about using what God has given us to bring glory to His name and serve the least of these.  I hope that you will continue to remind me of these things and together we can do more where we are with what we have.
Some things that have encouraged me through this time:
Proverbs 22:2 – The rich and the poor have this in common: the Lord made them both.
Song lyrics by Bryan & Katie Torwalt
And You are good, God
For You are good to me

And when I don’t understand
I will choose You
And when I don’t understand
I will choose to love You, God

see full lyrics here…http://www.newreleasetuesday.com/lyricsdetail.php?lyrics_id=72324#_

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