My daughter is the bravest person I know. I really mean that. And the more I think about it, I’m a brave mom, too. I mean, who lets their twenty-year-old travel to Europe for two months on a mission trip . . . alone?
Okay, she’s not really alone, but our missionary friends are more than an hour away, and even though she’s working with a wonderful Czech church, she’s living in a dorm and is somewhat setting her own schedule of where she needs to be and what she needs to be doing.
And I suppose she’s not really a child. To me, she is. She’s the same bubbly girl who’d write songs on the piano and sing them with guest when she was nine. She’s not very different from the five-year-old who would find a new friend at the park and within three minutes have a “new best friend.” She’s the girl with the same giving heart who would give a toy away every timea friend came over. In fact, I had to hide her nicer/expensive toys when I knew kids were coming. She was the outspoken one who always had the answer and wasn’t afraid to share it.
Leslie was and is my strong-willed child. Every day (many times a day, in fact) during her growing-up years, we battled my will versus her will. Yet even though it was hard, I forced my will. Why? I knew that if Leslie could learn to obey her dad and me, she’d be one step closer to learning to obey God. And that’s exactly what she is doing.
Still . . .
How can I send her? First, because I can see who God created her to be: outspoken, friendly, giving, and gifted. God knew the plans He had for her and created her with a special purpose in mind. (And we’re only starting to see a glimpse of what that is!)
How can I send her? I know she’s God’s child, created to do good work to benefit His kingdom.
How can I send her? I have received the good news of Jesus from others who dared to step out. The good news is created to be shared.
Leslie felt God calling her to the Czech Republic. She’s been there once a year for the last four years, including being on three group mission trips. She has numerous friends there, and when she read “go ye into all the world,” she knew that command was for her.
She’s brave because it’s sometimes a challenge being the only American in ninety-nine percent of situations. Beyond the language barriers, cultural differences are present, too.
She’s brave because following God is hard. It takes things called faith and trust.
She’s brave because she’s sharing Christ in a country where ninety percent of people have atheistic viewpoints.
She’s brave because Czech people don’t use clothing dryers, and most don’t have air conditioning. J
Yet I have no doubt God is going to do something with that girl this summer. He already showed up by providing all the money she needed from an unexpected source. He’s showing up by growing the relationships she’s made from previous trips. God will continue to show up because Leslie is out of her comfort zone, and she needs Him. Isn’t that when God always shows up?
So when you think about it, keep Leslie in your prayers. And pray for this mom, too. Pray that I will always encourage each of my four kids to follow God and obey Him, even if that means doing the hard thing.