“As I am reflecting on today, we had a SHOUT meeting after school and Miss Bohinc talked about her experience in Ethiopia, Africa. This changed my life completely. She shared pictures that took my breath away, and shared heartbreaking stories. This made me feel a little selfish, having so many clothes and shoes and family, where children there are orphans, have no shoes, and are begging for someone to pay attention to them. I hope I can get involved in the future, and go on a mission trip to Ethiopia someday. I never would have thought that hearing about this today would have as great of an impact on me today, but somehow I just feel like this is something I want to do.”
I have said a lot of “somedays” while talking about Ethiopia since the day I wrote this journal entry in eighth grade.
“I’m going to go to Ethiopia someday!”
“Someday, when we get to go to Ethiopia together…”
“When I’m in Ethiopia someday, I can’t wait to…”
“One of my life goals is to go to Ethiopia someday.”
But tomorrow, that “someday” is here. It’s really happening and I cannot believe it!!!!
For close to seven years, getting on a plane and going to serve in Ethiopia has been this idea in my head. And tomorrow, this idea in my head becomes a reality that I have been dreaming, hoping, and praying about for the last 2,520 days (since February 3, 2011 to be super exact.)
This is so surreal.
I’ve heard so many stories about people and places and teams in Ethiopia. I’ve seen so many pictures of the people I cannot wait to meet and places I cannot wait to visit this week. I’ve sent many friends off on their own trips to Ethiopia. I’ve heard just how long the flight to get there may seem, especially if you can’t sleep. I’ve learned words and numbers in Amharic, one of the languages of Ethiopia. I’ve tried (and love) Ethiopian food and coffee. I’ve learned more about Ethiopian culture. I’ve made friends who are from Ethiopia.
Somehow through the years, I’ve grown to love this place, these people, and this ministry with my whole heart from across the ocean.
And wow, what a week this has been leading up to this trip as I have been preparing and processing and packing (and repacking…and organizing the repacking). I have been left without many words to describe all that I’m feeling. These feelings are heavy and they are big, in the best possible way. And honestly, it feels surreal that this is even happening.
This week, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the years I have waited to finally be able to go to Ethiopia. In those seven years, I see so clearly how God has not only changed my heart, but He’s changed my life. It’s a little overwhelming to think about how different my life looks today than it did the day I first wanted to go to Ethiopia. To now be able to see God’s hand at work in my life so clearly over those years, and to know that He has used it to prepare me for this very trip, is the biggest gift. Once again, I am left completely undone.
Honestly, I know this is the very trip I was meant to be on as my first. Why? I have no idea. I am praying and trusting that this week and in the time following our return home, God will continue to show me why, and that I will be open to seeing it. I’ve been reminded of a lot this week, but I think what I’ve been reminded of time and again is how faithful God is. I’ve been reminded when God puts something on your heart, He will absolutely make a way and see it through completely. I have been reminded that the dreams and plans I have for my life pale in comparison to what God has planned for my life. And I’ve been reminded that there is so much for us to discover in the “waiting.” In the waiting is where we discover more about who we are and who we were created to be, and it’s where we are able to lean into God, trusting him deeper and knowing him more. That’s what makes me grateful for the waiting.
I don’t know what or when your “someday” is… but I encourage you not to miss the waiting. It’s preparing you.
Tomorrow, my “someday” is here.
This eighth grade dream of mine is about to come to life.……
#117Trip here I come!