6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?
I don't know if this is a good or bad thing, but I haven't gone through too many "hard things." Sure, I've gone through a couple of break-ups, been in arguments and hurt by people I care about but none of that has left a lasting scar.
As I sat thinking back over my life, searching for some event that was difficult, I realized, I am currently going through the hardest thing I've ever experienced; Moving to another continent.
At times it doesn't seem real but in 43 days I will be leaving for Africa and will not return home for at least a year. That's a hard thing to wrap my mind around.
Now please, don't misunderstand. I am so excited to get back to Noel. I can not wait to find all my kids and smother them with hugs and kisses. I can not wait to form relationships with these kids and share Jesus with them. I can not wait to pour everything I have and more into them. I am not afraid of being uncomfortable, I am not afraid of how different my life will be. I know life in Rwanda will not be easy, but that is not what makes this hard.
What makes this hard is leaving. Leaving my Mom, Dad, Kyle, Erin, Philip, Christina and the rest of the Nielson's, my Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, cousins, my church family and friends, Gigi, Nat, even my dog Scout. Not being able to celebrate birthdays, holidays, attend weddings of the people I love. I will miss these things, I am not being naive, and that makes leaving that much harder.
I am not looking forward to the goodbyes. I find myself staring at people with the sudden urge to wrap my arms around them and hold on tight (I have restrained myself, so far) because I know I wont be able to do that much longer. That knowledge hurts. The week before I leave I can pretty much guarantee I will shed many tears and the final goodbyes I will be a complete and utter wreck.
Again, I have to emphasize, I don't want anyone to think I don't want to go back to Africa, because I do, but I also don't want people think it has been or will be easy to leave, because it hasn't and wont. My heart has been torn into many different pieces, given to many different people, some in America and some in Africa. If I stay I would be heartbroken, but if I go I will also be heartbroken.
God has asked something of me. He has asked me to leave my family, friend and comfort and follow Him . He has asked me to leave everything I know and am familiar with and travel to Africa to care for orphans. I continually find myself re-reading the verse Luke 12:48 From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
God has given me much and now He is asking for me to give it all back. I will not deny my Heavenly Father what He has demanded of me. I will be obedient and follow Him in joy, faith, and love because God has asked me to.
Leaving will be the hardest thing I ever have to do, so while I have not actually left, I have already had to begin preparing my heart and even that has not been easy.
If you would like to pray for me:
Ephesians 1:17-19 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength.
Ephesians 3:16-19 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 6:19,20 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Philippians 1:9-11 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Colossians 1:9-12 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
Colossians 4:3-6 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thank you for the prayers and support!
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