Two years ago, i was in the process of fundraising for my trip to Guatemala.
I wanted to go to Guatemala and meet Jesus there. i wanted to experience the life of a missionary, work on my Spanish, and fill up a journal with stories and prayers. i desired to be a part of something bigger than what i felt the States had to offer me. i wanted to feel the power of God in a new setting with new people and a new mindset.
So i packed my suitcase and i bought some capris, long skirts and a Nalgene, said goodbye to comfort, and went to Guatemala with twenty-four strangers with no idea what was ahead of me.
And in those two months, my life changed.
When i came home i told stories, but they were the same ones over and over again. i talked a lot about Kevin and my team and the garbage dump, but i have so many stories that have been left untold. Today, i'm going to change that. It's raining and i'm reading my journal, that is in fact full of stories and prayers, and i want to share them. i believe that these stories have just as much power now as they did two years ago.
The power of the Holy Spirit is something we all have the opportunity to see in action, but something that many believers in the States are unfamiliar with. Before Guatemala, i believed the truth that God is all powerful and completely able. i knew that He was who He says He is, but i limited Him to my life experiences and even my comfort level. In Guatemala, all of that changed.
We went to church services almost every night, which wasn't my team's favorite thing, but we did it. All the girls would run around the house asking if we had to wear ankle length or knee length skirts and we'd scramble to make it look like we'd showered that day. And then we'd pile into Petunia and the idea of us looking showered went away as the sweat dripped from our faces.
One night after a service ended one of our team members was talking to a woman who was on crutches. In the States, you see someone on crutches and you feel bad and you wonder about their ailment. In Guatemala, you see someone on crutches and your heart leaps because you know that you're about to see God show off. (Important note: The attitude can easily be the same in the States, we just have to be bold and believe.) My teammate called some of us over so we could pray for the woman and we joined her without hesitation.
One of the greatest gifts during my time in Guatemala was how normal the "miraculous" became. We joined together with confidence and excitement, praying in the name of the One who made us all, the One who faceted this woman's leg together and the One who could heal her.
During our time in Puerto Barrios, we saw God heal a lot of people. i have a list in the back of my journal of just some of the healings God allowed us to be a part of. This night was no exception. After we prayed for her, her ankle still hurt, but she no longer needed her crutches. We cannot limit the term "healing" to something that completely happens on earth. That is contrary to the Gospel. He heals us little by little, slowly making us less and less like our flesh and more and more like His Spirit that is in us. And when we get to Heaven, He makes us whole.
She walked out of the church that night with the crutches in her hands.
And today as the rain falls and i read the words i wrote and prayed eighteen months ago, i am having to remind myself that He can do the same for me.
i'm not on crutches, but i do need healing.
God is still in the midst of revealing past wounds to me and i'm tired. i'm tired of being in pain and feeling weak because of things i can't even remember.
There's a lot of pain. And i can't sleep. Everyday is different and i feel like i am in an endless cycle of faith and doubt.
He has taken away my crutches and i want to start running, but i'm not ready. And He knows that, but i can't seem to be okay with it.
My soul is screaming for more than what is. It is trying, so desperately, to find peace apart from Peace Himself.
i am having to remember, i am having to ask God to remind me, that healing isn't always instantaneous. He is perfect, He is Almighty, and He is loving. He hears our prayers and He always, always, always responds in the way that He knows is best.
He is such a good Father. i need to remember that.
i miss Guatemala. i don't miss the food or the heat, but i miss the attitude of freedom and faith and joy that bounced around my team. i miss the simple confidence in who God is that came with each cup of coffee in the morning.
But if i allow myself to get out of the way, i think that the same confidence can come with my coffee in Mississippi, too.
Today i'm choosing to believe in who He is. His power, love, grace, or anything else, is not limited to churches in Guatemala. He is who He is. always. everywhere. And that fact becomes more real the more we choose to trust Him.