1 . Pain
noun: pain · plural noun: pains
1. 1. highly unpleasant physical sensation caused by illness or injury:
2. 2. is an unpleasant feeling (a suffering) of a psychological, non-physical, origin
I want to share my heart, which I tend to do quite often. Sometimes the words I type on this page are just a handful of letters grouped together to provide you with how I am feeling. I am not sure really to explain these things I get to experience here and I am not sure how to explain Gods goodness here either.
I want to share a story about young girl whose heart has been broken beyond earthly repair. (I have omitted her name for her sake) This girl has trusted me with so much of her memories and I want to help her carry this burden. When she was 13 years old. She was walking in the night with one of her close friends and they came across a handful of boys who confronted the girls about supposed money they had stolen. The girls did not know any of the boys. They grabbed the girls arms and took them into the moonlit night. They told the girls to undress and one of the young girls managed to escape in this time. […] was raped that night and her confidence completely destroyed. As the boy finished he looked her in the eyes and asked her if she knew he was. She responded no. As they ran into the darkness, she ran as fast as she could and found her way to the nearest school and found shelter from a young boy just until the sun came out. She doesn’t remember anything about that boy except the kindness he showed her that night. She shared this with me one night sitting in our living room and we both cried. She is one of the most beautiful girls I have ever met both inside and out. She told me that she does not feel beautiful and that I shouldn’t tell her that she is. Because she knows shes not. I have been spending a lot of time at the court and giving emotional and spiritual support to the best of my knowledge.
Not only did this boy take away her dignity but he stole a piece of her that she will never be able to get back. She is so beautiful.
How can you listen to someone who has gone through something that traumatic and walk away and do nothing. I don’t want to be dramatic in any way but my heart is so heavy for this girl who will never have the same opportunity to have self confidence in herself that she would have had before.
Recently I read an article about being a missionary right where you are. The author of the blog really stressed that we have a responsibility to reach out and stay put where God has placed us. For those of you who do not get the opportunity to experience long term missions across the globe. I can totally understand that view point and how it is pivotal to let God use you wherever he leads you (or keeps you for that matter). Being on this end can sometimes get a bad rap. I cannot tell you the amount of times I have heard the phrase, “Do you know that God can use you in Port orchard?” or “Everybody goes to Africa, why don’t you pick a continent in need -that doesn’t have relief” But I am here to tell you that God is using me in Port Orchard in the same big way that he is using me here in Uganda. AND that both Uganda and Port Orchard need the same Jesus. J I know that Gods timing is completely perfect. Many of you know that I had full intentions of graduating high school and heading off to Grand Canyon University and getting a nursing degree and changing the medical field one patient at a time. What I didn’t realize is that was my plan and not His.
I would never have chosen to share a room (As I shared all during my childhood), sleep on a mosquito netted bunk bed, and live in a ministry home 24/7 (Been there. Done that. being a “PK”). But at this point I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be anywhere else. From the moment I landed back on this place I call home- I have been given opportunity after opportunity to love in ways that I would have never expected. EVER. Between loving Tonny and spending everyday in the hospital to putting all my effort into this court case- I have been so blessed. I know that phrase is overused. But we need to realize that the Lord sometimes blesses us in small ways to and it is our responsibility to watch out for them and keep them in our mind for the times that are hard or when we are struggling with knowing what He wants us to do next.
I have always struggled with the Jr. High age. Even when I was in that stage I struggled with myself! I didn’t know who I was. I was finding out who God was to me. Like every other Jr. Higher I tested the line. Since being here my heart has changed and I have seen God use this age category to grab my attention and teach me how to love unconditionally. I have received many letters and emails from young girls from home asking questions or just encouraging me about being here and they have become a huge source of help in times I am feeling discouraged. Three teenagers that have changed my life in a way that I cannot even put to words. I love that I can be sitting in my room and get called out from the hallway and it will be Edgar (The 15 year old sponsored kiddo that lives with us) to tell me about his day at school or to spend time studying for exams or he will come home from visiting his mom with photos or a sweet message for her. The input I have been able to give is enough to fill my heart for the rest of my life. It has left me with challenging others- Even though you don’t live in Africa. Go out. Reach out to the youth around you. Be a positive role model in their lives. Take them out to eat. And challenge them. If we each took the time to mentor someone who is one step behind- imagine the impact we could have. Or even just time to reach out to our communities.
This week I got to watch somebody experience pain like I have never seen before. It looked almost as if she was being tortured. Porsche, my sweet friend from the UK, who is volunteering until next November had a tooth ache. She knew her wisdom teeth were coming in. We went to this small office that consisted of one dental chair because you know. TIA (This Is AFRICA). What should have been a 30 minute tooth extraction turned into a 3 ½ hour molar and wisdom tooth extraction. Needless to say….I love the dentist in the west now. I hope to never have to endure that pain. The power was out in the office so they had to take it out without a drill. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain that she felt. Several times she would clench her fists and kick her legs. At one point I was praying for her and I was going to put my hand on her leg but I was too nervous I was going to get kicked. Halfway through she called me into the room to ask what she thought I should do all I could say was to keep going. After both teeth had been extracted she just cried. (I know I am allowed to tell you all of this because she posted it on her blog too: http://somuchmore2.wordpress.com/ )
What does the bible say about pain?
It appears over 70 times.
In some ways pain is a good thing. Believe it or not. If a young child never felt the burn from a hot stove or the pain we feel when we step on a lego (you all know what I am talking about)- we would never know that we should keep from doing those things because they can cause long term problems like a bad burn or just uncontrollable anger for the lego/ breaking your ankle from just the pure shock. James talks about considering it pure joy when we encounter various trials.
Job becomes closer to God. We become more mature. It helps us become more refined (Isaiah 48:10). It teaches how to show compassion and to comfort one another during their times of pain.
Revelation 21:4English Standard Version (ESV)
4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
I don’t know what God is trying to prepare me for. I don’t know what my future holds. I don’t know what he even has in mind for me while I am here in its entirety. All I am sure of that he wants to use me every day in each of the communities we go to. In every conversation I have. I want to learn from the pain I go through and I want to use it to help others. <3