I sat before my Lord, with the door tightly shut, asking Him why He had led me there.
Laying in my arms was a tattered orphan child, a lonely child who called me "mama." Just after a few short minutes. "Mama" means forever... not just for a moment. Day after day, poverty took the lives of many. Hungry, fly-covered children of God calling for a "mama" who will never come home. I couldn't understand their pain, but I could love them and enter in. Isn't this what He commands of us even when it is painfully hard? I looked upon God with anger in my heart and for the first time, I saw before me a God who was not "picture perfect", but a God of suffering, a God of pain.
Even in my realization, I was blown away by His grace; that He would bring me to that very moment to see His reckless love in such a visual, tangible way. I held her tight in my arms... and I knew I was right where I was supposed to be.
On that dusty floor, I wrestled with God–more than I ever had before.
These children are not a statistic; they are the people I had come to adore. They never complained or asked God for more, but rather praised Him for providing what little they had. At the end of the day, when my strength had failed me several times before, I wanted to be loved by them, to feel used by God, and to hear His voice in the middle of the chaos.
Let me tell you... loving hurts sometimes, but I was right where I needed to be.
"But Mallory, open your heart and listen to me. Don't you know that I am good?"
There was a reason for that stand-still moment, my friends. He planted the seed of hope within the vulnerable, and He planted the seed of hope within me, too.
I looked around and saw my little sweethearts playing in the dusty roads, the older girls dancing along as they selflessly cared for the others, and stray animals begging for the food the children couldn't afford to give. My heart was broken for these people, and so was His. You see, my friends, the Kingdom is for us to build. It was by God's grace that He led me there... and it was by His grace that He kept me in that season.
Fast forward several years–I was pursuing a bachelor's degree in elementary education, playing intramural sports, hanging out with friends till the wee hours of the night, leading events around campus, etc. Living the dream!
Except one thing–
Inside, my soul was a mess. I felt lost in a world of constant transition and chaos with no direction in hand. I am sure you have felt this, too. But even then, He was hacking away. And even now, He is hacking away in your heart as well–forming your desires to align with His, preparing the way for the adventures He has in store, and giving your soul time to rest.
We delight ourselves in you, oh Lord.
"A wild woman, once oriented in the direction of God's kingdom, does not want to stop to care too much about herself, though she will stop to take care of herself. This means she's not scared to rest, but does have an aversion to being spiritually idle for the same of indulgence. She sees her life as long, but her days as numbered, and she just wants to go as far as He'll go with her, as far as He'll carry her. She is not easily offended or persuaded or confused, because her eyes are on her one and only prize-being one with Christ alone."
-Wild and Free
Over time, my soul began to sing again, my heart began to listen, and my feet began to run.
I pray that you have the courage to go with Him as far as He will carry you.
God has done impossible things within our lives and we, as a ministry, are only here to tell of them.
So here we are, not knowing what crazy thing He will do next within our ministry, but knowing that in all things He is faithful. Standing in the garden that was never supposed to grow, I find myself laughing and in awe of what He has done. All I know is that we serve an unbelievably gracious and loving God who will honor our willingness to obey.
There is something big that happens when our hearts turn from fear.
2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.