This is a guest post from my wife, Courtney. In a couple of weeks we are leaving to go spend three weeks serving in a small village in western Uganda, and my wife wanted to share our story. Hopefully, we will have the chance to post some more stories here while we are in Uganda, so stay tuned.
The last few weeks have been awful. There have been a lot of times when I’ve thought, “Maybe we aren’t supposed to be going to Uganda.” I’ve cried more in the last month than this whole year combined. Dustin and I have gotten in more fights than ever before. I’ve doubted God’s faithfulness. I’ve cussed more at God than I have in a long time. On any given day I’m a little bit pissed, sad, confused, scared, tired, and just over it all.
There are times when I just don’t get it. I don’t understand why God does what he does. I know that God prompted us to go to Uganda. I know that he worked out the details for us. I know that when we committed to go we didn’t know how we were going to pay for everything. And so far, his timing has been perfect. He has shown up in ways that we could never have imagined.
But in the last few weeks I haven’t felt like his timing has been perfect. I’ve felt like his timing has royally sucked. Money has come in after the fact, summer job pay checks have been delayed, big sales have been stuck in processing forever. If we’re being honest, I’ve felt like he hasn’t been there at all. It’s like he told us to go to Uganda, worked out all the details, helped us out a little bit and then left us high and dry. I knew back in March when we decided to do this that we were going to have to rely on God in ways that we never had before. But I didn’t know that there would come a time that we would have to rely on him for literally everything.
The last few weeks I’ve regretted our decision to go to Uganda. I thought we were stupid. I thought we misheard God. I’ve been mad at Dustin and I’ve been madder at God. But then God reminded me of something on Sunday: just because he isn’t showing up the way I want him to, doesn’t mean he isn’t showing up at all. God shows up and reveals himself to us in ways that can only point to him. In ways that we can only sit back and give him the glory. And oh has he done that. In the last week God has shown up through a Kroger gift card, friends covering the cost of party supplies I was supposed to buy, a shopping trip for Uganda with my mom, kids making me laugh on days when my eyes were full of tears, the cost of a gift being covered, unexpected money coming in to cover our malaria medicine.
Would I have asked to see God through popsicles and paper goods (my party supplies)? Definitely not. Do I want to wait for God to show up at the 11th hour? Heavens no. But to say that God isn’t with us, that he isn’t showing up is just not true. He is showing up and he’s showing up in big ways. God never says that he won’t give us more than we can handle but he does say that he’ll walk with us the entire way. When God shows up he shows up so that the only thing left to do is turn to him and say, “thank you.”
There’s a part of me that is still scared, anxious, sad, confused, and a little mad. There’s a part of me that doesn’t want this story. There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to have to walk in faith this way. I want to be a Christian, I want to follow Jesus wherever he leads us, and I want to make a difference in this world. I’m learning that sometimes following Jesus means that he isn’t going to show up the way I want him to. Would I have seen Jesus in the same ways if we had money rolling in the bank and no worries at all? Probably not. Sometimes I hate this. Then I get to experience Jesus in ways that leave me standing in awe of who he is and all I have left to say is, “thank you” and I’m okay with this life again.