One person has been in my thoughts constantly, and that is my best friend Sarah Stell.
She and I grew up, I've known her since she was born and we have been inseparable since we were infants. (Though we do have video of me putting a hose around her neck, but I doubt I was trying to strangle her, just showing her the how awesome hoses are!)
I am thinking about Sarah often lately because she has flown to Uganda to work with Watoto Children's Ministry for the next 2 months. She will be working with the baby and infants that are brought in but are not old enough to be put into a home with a widow. I love her courage and strength to go to Africa and have this beautiful experience!
I have to admit, I am a little jealous of this beautiful adventure she will be having because it will be something I cannot connect to. Sarah and I have not lived parallel lives, but there are many experiences we have been able to share and experience together. I will have no advice for her or really know how to help her in times because I know Africa and God's love for that land will steal her heart and transform her and she will see this world in a completely different light. I love that this will happen, but my selfish side will be a little wounded.
The day she was to leave for Uganda was Sunday so I was privileged to see her at church and say goodbye later that day. We sang a song though in church called the Stand and for some reason these lyrics hit me really hard.
So I'll stand with arms high and heart abandoned
In awe, of the one who gave it all
So I'll stand, my soul Lord to you surrendered
All I have is yours
And I felt my spirit saying "I give Sarah over to you, all I have is yours. She is not mine to keep and stifle. She was never mine to begin with." (The Stells and Hebert family are thick as thieves, I have always thought of the Stells as part of our family and even their extended family as my own extended family.) I realized then that people in my life are not mine, God has blessed me with these people for a certain time and I must accept when to let them go.
I am so proud of what Sarah is doing and who knows? Maybe I will be able to relate to her experience at some point in my life when I got to Africa to either see her or God calls me to go for some other reason. Just because we shall not experience everything in life together, that will allow us to grow in our relationship by learning from one another and cheering each other on through all the trials and victories on this Earth.
Sarah, I am so proud that you have gone to Africa to love on beautiful babies and infants, I know you and Alla will have a life changing experience and I cannot wait to hear all the stories when you come back! Let change happen and allow God to transform your heart more towards His image. Walk to the beat of your African drum!