So my life has pretty much flipped upside down in the last couple months. I’m still waiting to see if it’s the “cool roller coaster  where I end up safe and sound with my feet on the ground” kind of flip or the “Oh crap I was just looking at my feet and now I’m staring at the sky and my head really hurts” kind of flip.

I’m thinking it’s a little bit of both. Maybe slightly more of the latter, but hey, no pain no gain, right?

And truthfully, a lot of the pain I have caused unnecessarily myself.

I’ve felt called to go to Kenya for a long time now. Some of you may tune me out immediately when I say the word “called,” but I hope you can bear with me past that. I wish I could explain to you what it means to be called. To feel like you’re inwardly being pulled toward some outward destination or goal or dream. All I know is that when it happens, you know.

But in the last year, this calling, this dream, in whatever form or whatever length of time it may be for, had taken a backseat. And by backseat I mean that I packed it in the truck underneath that extra beach towel and folding chair.

Why? Because I still want things.

And I’m not saying wanting things is bad, either. But wanting things can quickly get out of control in a society and a culture that says you have to be married by 23, put to use that degree you spent thousands on in college, have some kids, invest in a white-picket fence, get a dog, …settle down.

The thing is…none of those are bad things to want, either. But when things you want slowly become things you think you need to be normal or successful or acceptable, and when any want other than glorifying God takes the throne…well, then, my friend, we have a problem. And I had one heck of a problem.

It wasn’t that I wasn’t being myself, but I definitely wasn’t being selfless.

And God had to hit me over the head to make me realize…He never wanted me to be “normal” or “successful” or “acceptable”…whatever that means.

He wants me to be me. To love Him fully. To serve Him passionately. To accept that He is all-sufficient for all my wants, needs, wishes, or wildest dreams.

So here I am now sitting in my tent in Kenya.

Does it mean that suddenly all my problems are gone?

Does it mean I now see my wants and needs clearly?

Does it mean that know God’s detailed plan for my life?

Of course not.

But I’m finding grace again. The grace that for so long I’ve encouraged others to accept and to walk in freely, and yet so many times I’m preaching from my soap box bound in chains.

The grace that when I see the imperfections in myself or being told about them by those closest to me, I’ve had a hard time swallowing.

So I’m reminding myself that in these moments when I look at my sin and disobedience, that it’s okay that I’m not perfect. Thankfully, I have a perfect Savior so in my not so pretty moments I can remember that it’s not the things I do that defines me but rather who He is.

And then, I pick myself up, shake off the dirt, and move forward one day, one leap, one plane ride at a time.

Yes, Your grace is sufficient for me.

And Kenya, ready or not, here I come.

Oh and this is my new neighbor, Neema. That is Kiswahili for grace. God is just cool like that.


5 thoughts on “neema.

  1. Habari za asubuhi! Glad you are there; sorry we didn t get to chat before you left. Neema is beautiful-we had a couple of students with that name in TZ. Send prayer requests.

  2. May the spirit be with you, Elissa. You are a strong young lady. The people you serve are very fortunate.

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