Then, I landed in Mexico City exhausted from flying for six hours. I spent a week there that was 180 degrees away from what I expected. I came home confused and sad.
Instead of the kids being energetic and cuddly, they were reserved and quiet. And worse than that, I felt as though they would rather play with someone else on my team. I was awkward, out-of-place, and hurt.
I could clearly tell that God wanted me to go to Mexico. Leading up to the trip, God provided the funds in amazing ways. When I was worried or excited, He gave me a wonderful friend (you know who you are!) who felt similarly to talk through things with. Throughout it all, He kept reminding me that He was in control and was preparing the way for me to go.
When things did not happen as I had hoped and expected in Mexico, I did not understand why God wanted me there. One day, late in the week, I opened my Bible to Ezekiel 8:5-6, which says,
"Then he said to me, “Son of man, look toward the north.” So I looked, and in the entrance north of the gate of the altar I saw this idol of jealousy. And he said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing—the utterly detestable things the Israelites are doing here, things that will drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see things that are even more detestable.” (emphasis mine)
I realized that I had been jealous of the way others seemed to fit right in and that this jealousy was stopping me from doing things I should. With just a couple days left, I re-surrendered this trip to God.
However, I still had a lot to process because the week turned out much differently than I had expected and hoped. After praying and thinking and praying and thinking and praying, I was able to see that God did indeed have a reason for me to be there. Looking back, I can see that God was teaching me that serving Him elsewhere is just as hard as serving Him here. He was also teaching me that He has gifted me specially and I need to look to Him for strength.
photo credit: my team and I