Have you ever read a book that makes you want to get up and DO ALL THE THINGS.
You've been challenged, inspired, impressed, convicted - and if you're anything like me, you want to immediately rush out and do something about it all.
Reading "Kisses from Katie" made that kind of impact on me. The premise is a young American female, Katie, who develops a passion for Africa. Despite her parent's hesitations and concerns, she commits to spending a year in overseas after graduation, and that year has turned into a majority of her life since that first step of faith.
A huge part of Katie's story is adoption - she starts out working at an orphanage, eventually transitions to becoming a legal foster parent and taking children in, and finally began officially adopting a whole family of young girls. Throughout the book Katie is young, and is also single, and yet she so passionately follows God's design for her life.
Year later, on her website as she reflects back, she writes:
"And for us, this is the miracle: not that we experienced love at first sight but that God has given me a love for these once-strangers that is just as strong as if they had grown in my own womb. That somewhere along the line after weeks or months or years of choosing this kind of love, I suddenly found myself in the place that I am now where I have no choice, where I could not stop loving that if I tried because they are part of me. The miracle is that God has given me His eyes for them and in my moments of saying “she is mine” He has given me a glimpse of His heart for me."
One of her refrains is that we choose love, just as we choose to live in obedience, and we choose to live by faith.
Such simple sounding choices - and yet, so excruciatingly hard.
To choose love...when I want to be indifferent. (I do not say "when I want to hate", because that surge of emotion is something I am more likely to confront and cut off. Indifference, however, slips through my defenses and lodges itself in the recesses of my mind and heart, setting deep roots while I am hardly aware.)
To choose faith...when doubt and uncertainty rip through my heart and I want to do it my own way, to take control as quickly as possible, to avoid looking foolish or naïve.
To choose obedience...when I can think of 100 "other" ways of doing it, and "my" way always feels better.
Sometimes these choices, this love, and faith, and obedience, mean you DON'T live in Africa.
Maybe they mean you live in Duncanville, Texas.
And sometimes your life feels smaller than you imagined.
Your husband works long hours, your AC goes out just when the summer is heating up, you have 80 kids in your classroom making sarcastic comments, constantly taking out their iPhones and blasting each other on Kik and Instagram, ready to be done with school, and you feel like you're in rut. You feel like it doesn't really matter. You feel like most of your reality is pretty mundane.
And you think, of course I would be faithful and obedient and loving and just positively saintly somewhere else. Somewhere different. With another's reality.
Couldn't we all be Mother Teresa if we had lived in Calcutta and taken the vows of Sisterhood?
And yet....there are thousands of nuns. Mother Teresa stands out because of a deep, heartfelt, sincere commitment to serving Christ, and to serve Him in all ways. She is renowned for the love she showed, and that love was not chained to one location. She was not the only one in Calcutta, but she is probably the only one you could name. Why?
Because thousands of people are living realities just like yours, but only a precious few are choosing love. Choosing faith. Choosing obedience.
Be that person today.
Who can you love?
Where is your faith wilting? How can you step out further than before?
How do you need to obey?
Be a bold, brave, courageous servant today, exactly where your reality is.
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