It was just another “normal” day (if there is such a thing on the world race) of construction and manual labor under the sweltering Haitian sun. But when I woke up that morning, I could just feel it. I knew something was coming.
I’m still learning to identify this strange feeling when it comes. It’s almost impossible to describe, but if I had to try I’d say it’s a mix between the butterflies I get on a first date and the way my stomach drops after saying something I regret. Weird combination…I know. But when it comes, I can’t shake it or push it away- it’s there until I deal with it.
I really believe this feeling that takes over both my physical body and my soul is God’s tangible way of saying to me-
Leah, there’s something we need to deal with…today.
And right away, every time, I know exactly what He’s referring to.
In Haiti, I tried ALL morning to make that feeling go away. I pounded away at cement bricks, hiding in a corner of the construction site- that is, until Kristin came over and started talking to me about the very thing I was trying to avoid. I made dozens of excuses and delayed as long as I could.
I even made these ridiculous deals with God in my head- Ok God, if one more person goes home sick, I’ll go back with them and do this! Then all of the sudden, 2 girls would keel over sick and need to go home.
Welp, sorry God there wasn’t room in the car that time…looks like I’m off the hook!
…10 minutes later, another girl starts throwing up and needs to go back home.
“Hey guys- can anyone go back to camp with Grace?”
I realized I had better speak up and go back with her, before God started taking more sick people down on my account!
So I went. We pulled into camp and I went straight for my tent, grabbed my Bible and journal, and awkwardly asked Holli if she would meet me at the rocks in 30 minutes to talk.
For the next half hour, I cried, I wrote, I prayed and argued…God WHY are you asking me to do this?? Then I just sat still and let the crashing of the waves against the rocks calm my anxious heart.
As soon as Holli sat down I started to spill. I reached down into places of my heart that never see light and tried my best to form words around what was down there. It was my story and this was my life and I knew when I woke up that morning that He was asking me to share it…
I don’t think I looked up once the whole time I was talking and to this day I can’t remember a single word I actually said. But I will always remember this like it was yesterday- I finished talking and looked up at Holli, and breathed in my first full breath of air all day. The feeling of butterflies mixed with a stomachache was gone…
Freedom had taken its place.
Obedience to God is terrifying sometimes…most of the time, actually. I wondered all day long in Haiti whether or not this would be worth it. It felt hard and painful and embarrassing, and I wanted to know that good would come before I took the risk.
But that’s not how God does things-that’s not faith. I’ve found He’s really big on asking me to do these hard things without always showing me why first. I think God gives us a choice- you can live, and He won’t bother you with butterflies or stomachaches or, you can REALLY live.
I want to really live…
It’s happened to me multiple times again since Haiti. When I said yes to Jesus, I essentially gave Him free reign to do whatever He wants in me. And apparently it’s not a one-time deal…
Just last month I was driving with one of my best friends from Atlanta Georgia to Gainesville, when that same feeling overwhelmed me again and I knew there was junk in my life lately that I needed to tell someone about. So for an hour and a half, sitting in bumper to bumper traffic, I spilled my guts…again. I was so nervous for how she’d react that my face was bright red and my heart was racing the whole time. But I did it.
And just like every time before, I’m SO glad I did.
What is God asking you to do today?
Could you be brave enough to do it?
It’s worth it…I promise!