Saturday, January 9, 2010


Oh the irony of life—it can make you laugh, cry, and sometimes do both at the same time.
New Years Resolution #5: See snow.
On my way to Urbana 09 I did just that. For as it so happens the very day I was scheduled to arrive in St. Louis the Midwest was being smothered in snow as one of the largest winter storms to sweep through the area in the year unleashed its arduous furry in the shape of big, white snowflakes.
After a grueling 15 hour drive, I stepped out of my car into crunchy, fresh snow. Feeling no need to preserve any level of pride or dignity, I played as a child in the snow trodden parking lot of my hotel. In this moment, a year’s worth of all of my suppressed memories, struggles, and ambitions rushed to mind resulting in a flood of overwhelming emotions that presented themselves in the forms of irrepressible laughter. Ironic--somewhat, yet the humor of my Savior never ceases to amaze me. It’s one of those times where you can’t help but laugh…
The entire year I had spent praying for this very moment, and I’m not just talking about the snow. I knew that I was supposed to be here, in the middle of this parking lot, in the middle of this blizzard, in the middle of the United States. There is no greater feeling than knowing what it means to be living in God’s will for your life. It’s the most intoxicating joy. I was ready and hoping God would reveal where He needed me to go next… Where He could use me for His greatest benefit. Ready and willing, I embraced the gift of snow and the perfect love of my Lord.
The first day of Urbana, as I walked into the first seminar, a 1 in 1700 chance possibility happened. I walked into the same room as John. Like a swift kick to the heart, that ever-present familiar feeling swept over me. After a hug, and some brief conversation (of which I can’t even remember), I found myself listening to a seminar on tending to the brokenness of the African continent as Medical missionaries, while trying to tend to the brokenness of my heart. 1700 people attended Urbana, and I run into my ex on the first day…yes the irony of life. Sometimes it can make you cry…
Yet I felt it was nothing a bit of prayer and Starbucks couldn’t temporarily mend, and so after I had nursed myself to a somewhat normal state, I proceeded to my next seminar—Biblical Basis for Medical Missions by Dr. Dan Fountain. After a two hour lecture on his ministry in the Congo and the scriptural commands for health care providers, he ended his session with saying that all of this means nothing unless you go where there is a need, where God needs you to be. Where is there a need you may ask (I thought the same to myself)? Well, don’t worry; he had a list, but to top them off was Sierra Leone. They urgently need people with experience in Neonatal Care. (I’ve worked in the NICU of one of the top ten Hospitals for the past year—God definitely had my attention) He continued, there is just one issue…you have to take a boat, and most people don’t like to take the boat for whatever reasons being onboard a ship for ten months doesn’t appeal to them or even seem like a possibility. At this moment, I felt like my whole life (all 21 years so far J) had been preparation for this. Growing up on the inlet, my other love besides medicine was the water. As anyone knows, I was practically born for the sea, and now it seems that even this aspect of my life could, and was going to be, used for God’s greater purpose. It’s one of those ironic moments where God reveals to you a glimpse of the big beautiful pictures He sees everyday. This was it. I laughed and cried and then laughed some more as I wiped the tears from my cheeks and uttered a short prayer of thanks for as crazy and out of control as life may seem, God has me in His Hands and there is no other place I would rather be…

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