Lily pads on a lake in India

When I Grow Up

I’ll finish my story about the mountains and what I found in the smoking tent and the work the Lord provided for me to partake in here. But not just yet. There’s something I feel a burden to talk about first. It’s a little bit about dreams and a little bit about the world changing and a little bit about growing up.

It also involves a little backstory: I changed my mind like most kids do about what I wanted to be when I grew up. When I was seven I wanted to be a spy. At around age eight I wanted to be an electrical engineer… who wrote poetry. (Yeah, I’ve basically never been conventional.) Then I wanted to be a singer. I think, at one point, I wanted to be a dancer… and a computer programer. And when I was fifteen I really wanted to be a children’s book author and I wrote a children’s chapter book with one chapter missing in the middle haha. After that I just wanted to have ten children, home grown tomatoes, and a cow. But I find that as time goes on I haven’t really narrowed down my ambitions and settled into one thing, at least not exactly.

I want to be a hundred things at once – a teacher, a nurse, a nutritionist, a linguist, a foster mom…. the list goes on. I guess I’ve taken Gandhi’s advice too seriously. I want to be the change I want to see in the world, and there is just so much in the world I want to change. I want to be a teacher because I want everyone to have the gift of learning and knowledge. I want to be a nurse because I want every one to be healed and a nutritionist because I want everyone to be well. I want to be a linguist because I want to communicate to everyone in every language that they are loved and to give them hope. I want to be a foster mom because I want every lonely child to have a loving home. Again, the list goes on. For every lack and hurt and heartbreak I see, I want to do something that will change it. I want the world to be healed and loved and whole and know God.

But no one could do all of that, even in a thousand lifetimes. No one could accomplish all of that.

Still, I look out on my ever expanding view of the world, and I see need. I see deaf children who need sign language. I see disabled children who need sign language. I see children who need education, children who need love. I see so many languages the Word needs to be translated into. I see so many hopeless people who need to be saved. I see people sick because of ignorance, and I hear of people dying because of lies. And I can’t help but beg God to train up and raise up His people to be the change He wants to see in this world, by being like Him. I can’t help but beg Him to accomplish through others what I have to admit I could never accomplish no matter how much I gave up and no matter how hard I tried. I beg Him to stir in people’s hearts a desire to learn sign languages, to learn how to teach, to learn how to heal, to learn how to feed and clothe and love. I beg Him to bring people who will be family and home to the homeless and helpless children of this world. And I beg you to pray with me.

I’ve realized that in a world that is constantly shifting, uncertain in its future, and insurmountable if alone, that there is only one choice for me. If I could become anything or anyone… I would be a woman who prays.

Because while we are limited, the God whom we pray to is limitless, and His desire to see this world healed and whole and saved is greater than ours could ever be, and His ability to bring about those things unstoppable. Our burden is not to do every conceivable thing, but to do the things He has made for us to do and to pray for others to do likewise and for His will to be fulfilled on earth.

Please, pray with me.