I am not a spontaneous kind of person. Almost everything I do has to be planned out in advance. And then I need a week or two to get use to the idea before I may disagree with myself and forget about it, which usually ends up with me sitting on the couch feeling too tired, doing nothing. But when I do agree with myself, it is almost always planned out ahead of time.
This time it changes.
When the flooding in Baton Rouge occurred a few weeks ago, may I be honest? My first thought was to myself, “I should be down there photographing that.” My camera is my baby and I see everything through that lens. Its a lifestyle that feels impossible to separate myself from. And then one day, the opportunity arrived to go down there. My heart raced and I thought, “God has heard my prayers!”
But later, something changed.
I knew the opportunity to arrive on the scene was to serve. There was no chance on photographing anything. The victims of this historical flooding needed help. They need comfort, to know someone cares, and to know that God has never left them. Help to rebuild some of their life is so much more important. When this was revealed in my mind, I couldn’t help but doubt myself and say, “What in the world could I do?” I dismissed the thought of taking advatange of the opportunity, and forgot about the idea.
And then, it happened.
It was brought to my attention again. My heart began throbbing inside like it had once before. It was all I could think about, and being one who does not want to not hear the Holy Spirit ever, I jumped in not knowing what I am getting myself into. Within two days the plans had been made: I will be going back to where I was born; Baton Rouge, Louisiana. And I will be going back there to work.
The thought of it all was so fast, but it had given me a week to really dwell on what there could be to come. I could feel myself fighting inside. I have never once done disaster relief work in my life. I am a skinny 27 year old who knows how to hold a camera and will clean out ice cream freezers on a regular basis. What more of life do I possibly know?
Questions began to cause doubt.
Did I really hear from the Holy Spirit correct? Are You truly calling me to go down there, into a city I haven’t spent time with in 17 years? Do I really need to give up a week’s work of pay? I have a surgery to pay for in 4 months Lord. I need the money! Can I actually do this kind of work? What if I cannot? What if I hold everybody back because I am slow? What if, what if, what if?
Walk by faith.
As I have been seeking the Lord through Scripture concerning this spontaneous trip, two words I noticed were popping out to me. #1, Faith. #2. Glory. I am about to walk into a world that I have never encountered. How do I take it in? By Faith. The Lord calls you to it. You walk by Faith. And when you walk by faith, is when opportunity to give God glory occurs when you go with a willing heart.
Every Mission trip I have ever been to up until this point, truthfully, has been more like pleasure trips. I photograph. I do what I love to do. But the Lord calls His children to do His work in His own way. And sometimes that means…that I leave the camera at home and walk by faith into a mission field I know nothing about, because the Lord will provide.
Tomorrow I leave. No camera. Tomorrow, I follow a calling I do not understand, but with obedience there are opportunities and blessings that God invites me to be apart of to minister to those who need to know who He is through a flooding nobody, but the Lord, has the answer to.