Okay, so I need to share about yesterday.
Yesterday, I woke up and felt awful.
[Side note: Sunday I spent the day bedridden with the most intense pain I have had in years. I had a migraine that felt like concrete walls were squeezing my head, this weird sensation that felt like electric currents were racing through my body, this pain in my hand that felt like someone was continuously pounding it with a hammer, pain in my back that felt like someone was hitting it with a metal pole, I was extremely nauseous (but couldn’t throw up), weak, etc. I was actually shaking and teared up multiple times because of the ceaseless pain (and I have a high pain tolerance). I was ready to ask someone to bring me to the ER. But, God intervened just in time.]
So, two days later was Tuesday, which was yesterday, which I’m talking about. Cool.
So, I woke up, still trying to recover from that terrible migraine. We were headed to the red light district to visit our NGO, so I really wanted to go. And I did. I was extremely weak and lightheaded and nauseous, but with an admittedly faltering confidence, I committed to the trip as I stepped on the train.
I was praying moment by moment that I wouldn’t throw up on the train, that I wouldn’t fall down the stairs, that I could keep breathing, and stay conscious. I was also praying (and have been this whole time) that God would yet use me amidst all this mess that is my physical body.
Crazily enough, I have not had a day here where I felt SO joy-filled and elated and loving as I did yesterday. (The paradox of walking with Jesus.)
Anyway, I saw Dad’s answer my prayers in each step that day, and I want to share those real quick:
1. This south Asian girl sat real close to me on the train. For no conscious reason of mine, I struck up a conversation. She told me that she was experiencing pain (hah, ditto my friend). I had this nagging feeling to say something about the Great Physician, so I turned to her and said, “sometimes when I’m in pain I like to pray to God to help me -” I was about to ask if I could pray over her, but she immediately changed the subject. Alas, I was able to care for her and chat with her and speak about God. I was encouraged in heart!
2. We got off the train and straight into rickshaws. I was in this with a staff man from the NGO we were about to visit. Never meeting him before, I asked about his spiritual background. He told me ALL about his recent struggle in walking with the Lord. I got to use that ride (where he cannot escape) to whip out my Text and share some Words to combat specific lies in his belief system, as well as pray over him. [Note: I did not want to get in the rickshaw with him. I desperately wanted to go with someone I knew so that I could comfortably ride in silence and focus on not falling out of the rickshaw. Dad had other plans and led me to *volunteer* to ride with him.]
3. At the NGO, as soon as we arrived, the CUTEST kids came bounding in! They made me both thrilled as well as discouraged, because I knew that I had no energy to offer myself to play with them. As my team became immediately fond and taken with them, I found myself alone – desperately wishing I could have been in a different situation (where I was stronger). WHEN, all of the sudden, another teammate came over to me and opened up about all she was struggling with being in the red light district. Not enveloped in the kids, I was available to listen and talk with her about her heart and Dad’s heart. It was the sweetest time.
4. THEN (I’m telling you, Dad took me step by step through this day) we went out into the brothels. (Not in the rooms, but into the hub where all the women were sitting outside their own brothels.) As we were walking, my leaders stopped to talk with one woman in particular. They asked if we could pray over her. She eagerly said yes, in which my leaders looked to my two teammates and me and said, “pray for her”. The other two girls were super nervous and overwhelmed with what was going on, but I had peace and gladly stepped forward. So, bending down to her, I placed my hands on her knees, bowed my head, and I – some rando daughter of God from the USofA – got to pray in power over this woman and ask the Lord to minister to her and rain down His love over her. WOW. After, we continued walking and praying and sharing the love we’ve experienced with Dad with the women there. What an honor.
In short: God honors faith. When you step out in faith, you give Him the space to show up and work mighty things in and through you.
And He wastes nothing.
John 6:12, “Let nothing be wasted” (Jesus speaking).
He will not waste today, not any day, not any person, not any thought, not any intention, not any prayer. Live with great expectation. I think often that God is altogether like me, when in reality, He could not be any greater than me (Ps. 50:21). He is infinite – not bound by space or time (or my physical limitations and frequent lack of faith). View Him like that (Anna), pray accordingly, and watch with eager expectation. He is GOD.
I need to stop imposing my agenda on God, or even my idea of what God’s agenda is on God. Just step back and let Him be who He is.
Honestly, I’m still struggling at times to see what my importance and skill is here. I’ve uncovered the lie that I believe my worth = my function/my fulfillment of my duties. And how much I’m loved = how well I’m doing at fulfilling my duties.
Not true. That’s not what love is, and that’s not who God is.
So, I am and will continue to meditate on the truth that nothing is wasted. Not even me. J