I'd come to Nicaragua to die

I'd come to Nicaragua to die, that was becoming evident as I stared out the dusty bus windows only a few hours after I had arrived.  Not in the literal sense, though one can never rule out the possibility, especially after experiencing the general flow of traffic.  But in the sense that this is the story that God was writing for me to know him more intimately.

My eyes were searching for something familiar, something I could hold onto that reminded me of my other home in the states.  They say missionaries always talk of two homes, the one where they were born and the one that they live in.  I was stuck somewhere in between.

A few weeks earlier, I had whispered it secretly to a friend, not wanting the truth of it to be a common conversation.  I wasn't even sure I wanted to look it straight in the face.  After all, I have found that I tend to ignore the hardest happenings until I feel the strength to endure them.  I'm not sure any of us are ever ready.

But it had moved quickly past my lips and lingered in the air around us before it settled in right beside me. There is something about saying a scary thought out loud that lends it a face and a body with hands that slip around your neck and choke the life out of your brave words.  And there it was, staring at me with eyes wide, daring me to face it.  My fear.

I was afraid to go back to Nicaragua.  I had left it with a vague and unexplainable sense that I belonged there, and the past year had only strengthened that resolve to the point that I was going to move there.  And now, now was the time to return to my future home.  What was I to do if my feelings changed?

I had hoped my visit would strengthen my decision.  I had hoped that I would be encouraged to the point that all of my current difficulties would pale in comparison to the excitement of what was to come.  I had hoped that my desire to go would far surpass my desire to stay, and that the path I had already chosen would be paved with ease.

Obedience is a journey not a one time decision, and the first yes is only a small step in the right direction.

We bumped along the dirt road for a time, and all the while dark clouds began to gather around me. It literally felt like a weight wrapped around my heart, and every passing moment added to the scale.  It became a heaviness that I wished to lay down, but could not escape.  I wanted to analyze it, accept it, then release it and move on.  I could not.  It had something to teach me, and some things that make you weak must be carried around for a time before they can make you strong.

When Tim and I began telling people that we were moving to Nicaragua, a common response was, "Wow!  That's amazing, BUT I couldn't do it."  My reply would generally be, "If you felt the way that we did, you could."  That conversation played over and over in my mind, because now I was not feeling confident.  I still loved Nicaragua, but I was not feeling like I could do it either.  I felt weak, afraid, ill-equipped, and lonely.

A few days later, I was brought to the realization that God was breaking me apart.  He was bringing me lower that he might be lifted higher.  I was dying to myself and my abilities, so that I would be forced to lean on his strength.  I was making my life more about me and what I am capable of, and less about who I am and what I can do only because Jesus lives in me.

Dying is never easy.  It hurts, but it's the only way to truly live.


  1. Courage is God's grace put into action. It's not a feeling. In fact, it's in feeling fear that courage is born. Walk in the courage that the Lord provides.m


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