I’ve been trying to write this post for a while now. I start, save, leave it. Start again, leave it. Start again, delete it. Yet it never leaves my heart or my mind, so maybe today will be the day that I get it out and processed.

When I was little, my mom kept these little books of each year of my life. And on the front of each one, it had my picture, age, height, weight, etc. It also had a space for me to fill in the answer to what I wanted to be when I grew up. It’s funny to look at the books, because my answer to the question didn’t vary much. In fact, for my 12 years of school, there were only 3 different answers: mommy, lawyer/judge, missionary – all in that order. I actually hadn’t thought of those books in a long time, but recently, those responses have been coming to mind as they are still my heart’s desire. Through all the seasons of my life and all the things that have come and gone, I still have the heart of the little girl who wrote those answers down. And lately, I’ve been feeling that heart again.

As I think back to the little me that was, I remember thinking that the mommy answer was a given as I assumed that someday I would be a mom. I knew that motherhood was for me and that I’d be a good mom, but I also knew that I wouldn’t just be a mom. Hence the reason for the other answers. The lawyer/judge idea seemed random, but really wasn’t. I’ve always had a heart for justice, and I think what I meant by lawyer/judge was really advocate. My heart was/is to be an advocate for those who can’t speak for themselves. My heart has always been for the teenage mom, the orphan child, the abused/neglected wife, the person who has no one to come alongside of them to cheer them up and to encourage them. That group now includes the pastor’s wife, the missionary kid, the nerd at school, the foreigner, the dreamer, etc. And last but not least, I wrote the missionary answer down when I was about 10 or 11 years old, and I stuck with that one for the rest of my school years as I knew that I knew that missions was me. It was what I wanted to do.

And I as look back over the decisions that I made during college and after, I kick myself for not leaving high school and going straight into YWAM or some sort of missions training. I always thought I’d have time for that later. I thought it would be better to get a tool or a trade that would make me useful on the mission field. So I pursued teaching. Yet through various twists and turns, many, many trips overseas, and even many offers to come and join this mission group, this missionary, this endeavor in that country, I just never made it. I don’t know why or what happened. I can’t go back and sort through my heart and head during that time of life. So finally, when I decided to pursue it again, I headed for Fuller Theological Seminary. And I took a class where we had to chart our journeys and work through every situation, every word that had been given to us, every encouragement, every twist and turn in life. I never did come to a conclusion after that long, heart-wrenching, 50 page project. Again, I thought that I would sit down with it and work back through it. And then I met Mark, got married, and moved to England. And my laptop was stolen, along with my life’s history. So I was never able to work through it again like I had planned . . .

And oh, how I have mourned and mourned over my loss. Still, 3 years later, I mourn over my past, over my memories that I can’t recreate and that are now foggy. I mourn over that paper that was supposed to have given me some sort of guidance, and I’ve repeatedly asked God why?

This past Sunday while listening to my dad preach, I heard him say how we are to stop looking back. He referred to Paul who wrote in the Epistles that he presses on; he’s not looking back. He’s looking forward. He’s moving forward. I haven’t moved. I’ve been holding on to memories, to would have, should have, could have beens. And all the while, I’m aging, and life is moving on. My kids are growing by the day, my life is passing me by, and every day is one more closer to Jesus’ return. Yet I sit and dream. I dream of holding African babies who’ve lost their moms. I dream of the beggars in Paris who just need a break and a hand out. I can smell Papua New Guinea and the other places I’ve been as I can feel my heart wanting to be there. Yet I’m not there. I’m in Longmont, CO working as a part-time accountant/full-time mom. And I’ve mourned that as I haven’t wanted to be here.

I haven’t wanted to be here . . . how many times as God heard me whine that? 🙂 How I’ve sat in self-pity and whined. And how He’s answered . . . .

I have to tell you that I’m not the sharpest tool in the chest. It takes me a long time to get it. I have to work through my biggest obstacle, which is my head. And the Holy Spirit has to repeatedly tell me something, before I finally really get it. Lately, He’s been trying to answer my why. And I heard it in my heart this week. The why is that it’s time for me to seek Him. Seek His face without my own agenda, my questions, my bringing up all of my past and trying to have Him map it out. It’s just time to seek Him and get a new heart, a new perspective, a new calling. What has God got for me today? Why has He placed me here in this place? If missions is to be, then He’ll direct me (and my family) while I’m seeking Him. If not, then so be it. But meanwhile, there’s much to be done in the here and now. It’s time for me to get a present, with a hint of future, perspective. It’s time to let God work some new things in me. And somehow, I get the sense that as I let go of the past and let my Heart Surgeon do His thing, He’ll work work into my heart the things that truly were His doing in the years past. He’ll keep parts of that little girl and her desire to be the advocate missionary. But He may also do something totally new and unexpected. But I’ve got to let go of some stuff before I can take on the new stuff that He’s got. At least that’s the feel I get . . . and I think this blog will definitely be continued.

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