I lay down my life as a morning sacrifice to You.
Choosing to die to self, I ask You to pour your mighty resurrection power through me,
That Jesus may be revealed,
Changing me and redeeming the world.
No…I haven’t seen the movie Frozen but I’m on social media enough to know that the song “Let it Go” is all the rage. I’m not sure of the context of the song in the movie but this is all I’ve been doing for the last six months…letting go. And…many people treat me as though I’m this super holy saint of God for moving to Uganda. I feel embarrassed because they don’t know the daily struggle of reluctantly letting go and I quickly try to set them straight. Obedient I am…but letting go has not necessarily been a joyful experience. Some days I find myself wondering why this has to be my call and I kick and scream at the Lord as I let things slip from my hands.
For three months I’ve lived with some very gracious and sacrificing friends after moving out of my home and renting it fully furnished to a stranger. Someone else is sleeping in my comfy bed, relaxing in my favorite chair and watching my 42” flat screen. All my books are in storage and I consider them good friends…so as silly as it seems, I am mourning them as well.
My dearly loved dogs are in the care of other good friends to whom I will always be indebted. I miss them every day in a way that I can’t begin to articulate but let’s just say that on my daily commute to work, my thoughts often drift to Jack and Daisy and the tears silently flow down my cheeks. The heartache is tremendous. Pretty soon I will say goodbye to all my friends and church family and I’ll be on my own in a foreign land. I know there will be days of loneliness ahead of me.
I suppose the last big thing that I have that gives me some sense of freedom and independence…my car…is now metaphorically sitting in the palm of my outstretched hand as I prepare to offer it up. It’s now on Craig’s List…waiting for a new owner. Some days I wonder if I’ve lost my mind. This is not how a “super holy saint of God” ought to be thinking, right? I want to joyfully surrender it all up…but it’s hard and I’m human and like everybody else, I cling to things that in no way can satisfy my soul, even though it sure feels like it. However, I am constantly being reminded by the Lord that obediently following Him always requires “death to self”.
Life is short…and is getting shorter everyday. The recent cancer diagnosis really jolted me awake to this reality. Like Henry David Thoreau, I want to suck all the marrow out of life and live as intentionally as possible and not have any regrets at the end. For me, as a follower of Jesus, that can only mean one way…a life of obedience. It’s the only way I know I can FULLY glean every blessing this life has to offer and know that my life can make a difference for the Kingdom of God on earth. And obedient living will likely mean trusting that the “upside down” kingdom living we read about in Scripture will not disappoint. How can we know this if we are unwilling to live a life of trust and obedience? But living this way can make you feel like you’re losing your mind and making foolish choices when, in fact, just the opposite is true. Having said all that… I fully expect that the life that awaits me in Uganda will produce so much blessing and joy in my life that I will begin to experience what a life of following Jesus is actually all about. Will all the sacrifice be worth it? I don’t know until I try…none of us do…but my gut tells me YES!
The prayer above is one that I discovered as I was formulating the daily prayers for the Prayer Center at St. Christopher Conference Center before I left my job there. It struck me as a simple yet profound prayer and it’s one I say to the Lord daily now, slowly and intentionally…from the depths of my heart and often times through tears, because letting go is painful. Yet I would not have it any other way.
I begin chemo in about a week and will continue it in Uganda. I will be monitored by the American doctor/missionary with whom I will be living. He is a God of details for sure. He knew what I would need in Uganda even before I did. I’m told this mild form of chemo has very few, if any, side affects but I covet your prayers as I begin treatment.
25 days and counting…Praise the Lord for He is good and His love endures forever.