So I set out on this endeavor knowing that I had a lot of room to grow and eager to see what God could do to work this clay into something beautiful. I had no idea what I was in for.
I started with the book, A Place At The Table- 40 days of Solidarity with the Poor by Chris Seay, and the idea that I would be eating a diet similar to what the impoverished communities around the world eat. Since our family supports and prays for a family of missionaries in Guatemala and we love the children who they serve at Eagles Nest orphanage I decided to eat the diet of a poor Guatemalan.
· Mush (oatmeal)
I followed each devotional day by day and ate the diet with dedication.
Until the distractions and trials came. In the span of 46 days my children were sick twice, myself included once. The first time they were sick my son had an asthma attack that would not respond to inhaled medications and had to be admitted to the hospital for 2 days. I was consumed with doctor’s visits and his care. But it wasn’t until the very end that the biggest blow came.
On a Saturday morning I received a very angry and upset email from a friend. I won’t go into detail of the problem because it should be kept private between her and me, but she was hurt by something I had neglected to do and she had been feeling this way for a long time. She wanted nothing to do with me anymore and she questioned my character as a Christian. I immediately felt a wave of emotions. This one email complicated and shattered every corner of my world. If her friendship was lost, many others could be too. I couldn’t stand to have the feeling that I had hurt someone, knowing that was never my intention. To have someone question me as a Christian meant I wasn’t doing a good job at shining the light.
Over the course of the weekend I began to shut down, I replied a couple times in email, but the last one I wrote had a very negative tone and I was ready to give up the fight. But as I kept up my devotions through the book I went back to my journal I keep and read a quote I had wrote down on day 22:
“Do you know someone who is very spiritual, but doesn’t know Jesus yet? They are already searching for something greater but maybe Christianity has never been communicated clearly to them. Are you the person they have been waiting for? Tell them your story!”
Earlier that day I had been thinking, if only she knew this one thing about me and with reading that quote I knew the Lord was asking me to share my testimony. I felt sick to my stomach. I can’t tell her that Lord!!
But God made it clear to me that this would be the one thing that could tie it all back together. So I sat down and I wrote out the reason why I chose Jesus at the age of 13 and why I keep choosing Jesus. I was incredibly vulnerable and told her secrets not too many people know. I was exposed and with hitting the send button I couldn’t take it back.
I always knew that God would use my suffering to bring glory to His Name, and I asked him many times in prayer to do so, but on the day I had to share my testimony, as raw as it is, glory was brought to His Name.
The last and final email came back with compassion and forgiveness. I was reconciled to her. What was broken is now restored. The cracks still may be there, but we are aware and eager to keep them from breaking again. I was filled with joy at the blessing that was handed to me and thankful for the guidance and teaching I received.
Even though I felt like I didn’t “do Lent” perfectly, the start was the opening to get me to this place where I could go a different way than how I would normally have gone. When I faced conflict before I would just run away from it and pretend like it never happened. Avoid everything that could possibly stir that conflict again, but this time I faced it and I didn’t have to face it alone. God was there the whole time. I took the narrow path that is hard to travel, but leads to righteousness. Praise the Lord .
I set some goals along the way because I did this fast to not only draw close to God, but to serve the children at Eagles Nest Orphanage. I would like to send a child, or children, there to school for one year. Tuition costs $450 per child and that includes their uniforms, books, supplies, and anything else they may need during the year. I am looking for:
· 10 people to donate $45 HERE
· Whole tuition sponsorship of $450.00 HERE
· People to sponsor the children of Eagles Nest HERE
The children here are beautiful and precious and they will thrive with your help. If God moves your heart to give, please do not hesitate. Many of these children have amazing stories of how they made it to these orphanages, one even found in a trash heap, but if you can give the country of Guatemala can be healed one child at a time.
I am glad for all of the things I've seen and experienced. I'm so overjoyed that the Lord loves me enough to keep refining and purging the ugliness that sin brings. Through it all he is showing us that one day we will be completely renewed and restored to what was intended.