Guest blogger today is Christy Reppe. She is one of my best friends and I get the honor of traveling to Ethiopia again with her very soon! Please take some time to look into her heart.....
I'm going back to Ethiopia. I still can hardly believe it. I traveled to Ethiopia for the first time (and only one so far) in the summer of 2008. I loved it. I loved the people, the children, the experience, and the way in which God used it to open my eyes (I'm still working on loving the food!). I walked away from that trip knowing that God had called me to see the people of Ethiopia.
At the same time, I was about to become Mommy to three precious and hurting little boys from Colombia, and the next two-and-a-half years of my life was going to shake me like nothing else ever has. I've been tempted to believe the lie that I couldn't possibly continue to see Ethiopia while at the same time all of my time and energy was to be poured into my family. I remembered what it felt like to lose a sense of dream and calling that I had experienced in the years before I traveled to Ethiopia. I felt that same fear trying to creep in a number of times saying, "You're going to lose another dream" or "That calling wasn't real - see! You don't even have time to see."
But that's just it...my eyes were open. That's so different than just living feeling like you're "supposed to be doing something" or having a dream of your own. My eyes being open meant that I could live the last year-and-a-half of my life making no trips, volunteering almost no time, devoting my life almost entirely to my family, yet still I could see the people of Ethiopia. This was a new concept for me....it's still a new concept for me. God is still showing me the "how" of seeing while being away. But it's making sense more than ever as I prepare to return, and I know much better now that it is so little about me, and so much more about what I can see when my eyes are open.
I think of Paul in the New Testament, and all the time he spent "away" from people who God had called him to see. The way in which he was able to be present in all the different moments and lives God brought his way, all the while having eyes that remained open to the lives of those he was separated from physically.
If you are like me, and your eyes have been opened to Ethiopia and its people, keep in mind that God intends for your eyes to remain open when you're away. He has much better for us than an emotional high, a great trip, or even the best dream we could ever dream up for ourselves. He is not even slightly limited by the things that may appear to limit us.
I rejoice in knowing that I get to return to Ethiopia in a few weeks, but I think I am even more excited for the new ways I know I will learn to see upon returning home. Please pray that we all continue to discover what it means for us to have Eyes That See.