03/10/2013: Kelly Sims
BAREFOOT IN A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY
"Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn to false gods. Many, O LORD, my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you, were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare." Psalms 40:4-5
Not too many years ago I was asked what would seem to be a simple question, "Kelly, what are you doing with your life?" My friend went on to declare that I could do anything, go anywhere, or go overseas. OVERSEAS? "Why would I do that" I asked him? "Foreign mission work."
This was not the first time I'd had this conversation, but it might have been the first time I considered it. As the weeks went by, my friend handed me an invitation to go to Haiti with his church. I finally gave in to his persistence. It wasn't too long after the hurricane devastated the little country, so it made the details of our journey more tedious than normal. After months of waiting the trip was cancelled, but the taste of a different country had already implanted its crave in me. I wasn't finished; I hadn't even begun. My friend tried to plan another trip later that year but again it fell through. Months past and a trip to South America fell in my lap. My excitement rekindled again. This time the trip wasn't cancelled, but I wasn't on the plane that left for Brazil. Why? Because God said, "No, you aren't meant to go on this one."
The night He told me this I sat on my bed, starring at my bible, not wanting to open it, and really not wanting to talk to Him at all. I was heart-broken. However, there was a question I wanted answered, "Why? God, why would you even tell me about this trip if it wasn't Your Will?" I sat there a bit longer until I finally reached for the closest instrument next to me, my ukulele. There was only one song I knew on my ukulele, "This is the Stuff." How fitting.
"This is the stuff that drives me crazy.
This is the stuff that's getting to me lately.
In the middle of my little mess I forget how big I am blessed.
This is the stuff that gets under my skin.
But I've got to trust you know exactly what you're doing.
It might not be what I would choose but this is the stuff you use."
Needless, to say, the chorus ended up being the medicine from God that I needed. The simple truth was if God didn't want me in South America then I did not want to be there either. Yet, the desire to GO still burned within me.
Time passed yet again, and again a trip to Haiti knocked at my door. To make a long story short, the details were made, the group assembled, the meetings met, the funds were raised, and the people were ready. We just had to wait on time to bring our journey to us.
You'll be just as frustrated as I was when I tell you our trip was cancelled again! The unsettled government of Haiti made our trip unsafe, so the board made the decision to shut it down. I told God I was done. My heart could not handle anymore. I didn't care to know the reason behind the cancellation, thought I knew He had one. I am sure it was a good one, but I wasn't ready to hear it yet.
Fast forward a couple of weeks and you would find me and my family circled around a dying woman. Her pulse weakened, her breath escaped her, and we knew my grandmother would not last the night. I was holding her hand and my mother when she died. I knew exactly the moment when she left us and saw Jesus. I knew because I was there and not in Haiti. That's right, the week my grandmother died was the exact week I was scheduled to be away on my trip. It would have left me to grieve on my own and unable to return for days.
Can I tell you how great the kindness of my God truly is? He withheld the thing that I wanted and gave me the things that I needed instead. He showed me how great His love for me was when I was still angry with Him. And though it took four cancelled trips and a funeral to make my trust for Him greater than the cravings of another country, it is a journey I am glad He made me take with Him!
"Blessed is the woman who makes the Lord her trust"......