Do it afriad

By October 13, 2010 Mission-Hearted 5 Comments

I’m a big chicken.  I really am.  For years, I allowed fear to paralyze me from doing what God wanted me to do in my life.  I’m confessing this right off, so you know that my heart understands about being afraid.  I’m not here to preach at you, but to hold your hand and give you some helpful tools to do it afraid.

When I look back in my life, the traumatic events that happened to me effected how I lived my life.  My “fear buttons” are loss, rejection, injustice, and pain.  On a very personal note, I held our baby boy 15 years ago this month, as he died in my arms.  The loss was so great in my heart, that it paralyzed me from wanting to move forward with adoption.  My heart wanted more children, but fear held me firmly in its grasp.  Miracle. Eleven years after our son died, we brought home precious Zoie.  God worked deeply in my heart and helped me overcome many obstacles.  Our adoption was one of the scariest things we have ever done… but it was not easy due to my fear of the unknown, fear of loss, fear of rejection… all my fear buttons were being pushed every step of the adoption process!  We did it afraid.

It took me 42 years to go on my first missions trip to Haiti.  I was afraid of leaving my kids home, leaving my hubby home alone with my kids, fear of loss (what if I crashed!!) fear of getting sick, fear of being in a foreign country… I had a lot of fearful excuses of why it was just best for me to stay home and minister.  In the end, I went to Haiti and did it afraid.  The miracle was that God worked through my fears and helped me step by step gain confidence, courage and strength to minister to the people in Haiti.  I finally understood what it meant- not about me!!  Yes, I could have lost my luggage, got sick from the food or water, heard from my hubby that the kids were going to bed too late, or hit a few speed bumps, but I learned quickly on a missions trip how to be flexible, and allow God to make the plans.  He never promises to keep us from pain, but He promises us to be there with us- He will never leave us alone!!

Ask yourself- What am I afraid of?

It is God Himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago He planned that we should spend these lives in helping others. (Eph. 2:8-10)

I’ve been hanging up photos of my July missions trip in my house and my van … my extraordinary team serving in Africa as I pray for you.  I want so much to give away 2 trips to Ethiopia, because I know that 2 lives will change forever.  The best part, my Ethiopia Mission team still has 10 spots open for you to join!!!  After the giveaway ends, please consider checking out and picking out a missions trip to join.  I promise you that God will help you do it afraid!!

I have received so many emails this week from readers who are really afraid to enter the missions giveaway contest!!  I asked my new bloggy friend, Valerie, if I could share her story with you.  This is the real email and her response to my question- will you do it afraid?  Can you relate?

Hi Kari,
I’m sorry, I know this may sound like a stupid question, but I’m new to this whole idea of missions (well, new to the idea of ME doing it) and am scared to death! 🙂 Here’s my question: I know missions in general is God’s will, but how do you know if it’s YOUR time to go? Is it ever NOT God’s will for someone to go on a mission trip? Seems to me that surely it would sometimes not be His will???

Ever since I found your blog about the trip to Uganda next summer, I’ve been drawn to it like a moth to a flame. Seriously. Like, it sucks me in and I just can’t get away from it. Does that mean it’s God? Could it just be me? Yes, I am oh-so-scared about the thought of traveling to such a foreign country, but even more so, I am scared to death of making a decision on my own accord that is not what God wants from me! HELP!  Also, is there still “civil unrest” going on in Uganda? Meaning….how safe is it there?  I would so very much appreciate any wisdom or insight you could give me! Thanks so much! Valerie

Valerie’s story- DO IT AFRAID!!

My story begins seven years ago, when I joined a Bible study group that was digging through Rick Warren’s The Purpose Drive Life.  As we worked our way through the book, we would often nervously joke about how we hoped that finding our purpose in life didn’t mean God was going to send us to Africa!  It was almost like we were ducking our heads, staring at our shoes, hoping that if we avoided eye contact with Him, He would pass over us and pick someone else for that assignment.

On a side note, about two years before the study, my husband and I began sponsoring a little girl (in Africa!) through World Vision.  We would often receive fliers and pamphlets in the mail telling stories of the children World Vision ministers to….children who are hurting, hungry, maybe orphaned or abandoned, sick, lonely, desperate.  The pictures always made me sad, but I think I sort of felt like I was already doing my part since we were sponsoring a child.

Then one day about 3 or 4 weeks into the study, I opened a letter from World Vision and saw a photo of a little boy standing in a food distribution line.  I don’t remember where he lived, but I remember he was holding an empty red bowl.  He was dirty, and he was crying.  And when I saw his picture I felt something switch on in my heart, and all a sudden I was crying, too.  And suddenly the thought of going to Africa didn’t make me want to duck my head anymore, hoping God wouldn’t notice me.  Instead, somehow, an instant desire welled up on the inside of me, and all I could think was, “I want to go help that little boy.”

Over the next few years God began to grow that desire and mold it and shape it as He was weaving together His plan for me.  There were times when I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I would literally find myself sobbing and begging God to please let me go help these people who were so desperate and broken and hurting.  And then there were times – often months at a time – when the desire seemed to ebb away, and I would wonder what in the world had been the matter with me before.  I would wonder if I had made it all up, or if I was just being overly emotional about it all.  Or if I was just crazy.  🙂

Then two years ago, not long before Christmas, I was watching a Joyce Meyer video about the work her ministry does in poor countries around the world.  In the video, Joyce said, “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. Just do something. “  A couple of weeks after that I was reading a newsletter from Shaohannah’s Hope (now Show Hope), the adoption ministry of Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman.  In an article written by their son, Caleb, he said the same thing Joyce had said, “Everyone can do something.”   And thus began a theme that has haunted followed me for the past two years. Everywhere I turn, God is whispering those two words to me, over and over again.  Do something.  Do something. DO SOMETHING.  At times it has become almost comical.  Those words seem to be  everywhere I turn.  Sermons, songs, blogs, radio, TV, magazines, books….even an investing seminar I went to!  Do something. I began to cry out, “Ok, God!  I hear You!  But what do you want me to do?  Just tell me what to do, and I’ll do it!”

During this time I started reading books like Red Letters by Tom Davis, Crazy Love by Francis Chan, and most recently, Radical by David Platt.  Let me tell you something, these books messed. me. up.  Especially Radical.  From the moment I picked up that book I started to feel a churning on the inside that only grew stronger the more I read.  A churning that I didn’t understand, couldn’t explain, and didn’t know what to do with, but it kept me awake at night and distracted me during the day.  I was restless.  Uneasy.  Confused.  Anxious.  And frustrated – because I didn’t know what to do with all the feelings building up on the inside of me.

I began to devour blogs about adoption and missions.  I couldn’t get enough of them.  And then one day I “accidentally” stumbled upon a blog called My Crazy Adoption.  🙂 That day I wrote this on my blog:

I ran across this post today over at My Crazy Adoption, and I felt like I’d fallen into a breach in the space-time continuum, where time stood still and I sat frozen to my chair, unable to breathe or move or speak. I sat there for what seemed like hours, reading all of her mission trip posts, following links to the blogs of people who’ve been on her teams in the past, looking at pictures, reading testimonials.

In her post Kari had said, “Be part of a God-Inspired Adventure – this means doing something RADICAL (emphasis mine), out of the normal, daily routine we get stuck in as moms. You get to see God work in others’ lives and in your own life on a mission trip.”  I was reading Radical at the time, and when Kari said that word, it grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go.  And when I found her Uganda blog, once again something on the inside of me just snapped into place.

Let me just say, that “snapping” in my spirit didn’t send me into joyous praise and giddy rejoicing over God’s call.  Really what it made me feel was afraid.  I was afraid that I wasn’t really hearing God.  Afraid that I was making it all up in my head.  Even more than the fear of going to Africa, I was afraid that I was trying to make something happen on my own that God wasn’t telling me to do.

I wish I had time (I’ve gone on waaay too long already!) to tell you about all the things God has done in the past couple of weeks to confirm to me over and over and over that this is my time – even though I’ve continuously questioned Him and questioned myself, doubting that I’ve really heard Him, afraid of missing His will, in some ways refusing to believe that He would really, finally be allowing me to do the thing I’ve been longing to do for seven years.  Once I finally said Yes, I have been able to look back and see that every one of those things that has been tugging at my heart was carefully orchestrated by God to move me closer and closer to the place of surrendering to Him.  I love how God works in every detail of our lives!

Last week , even though Kari doesn’t know me from Adam {or maybe Eve:)}, I emailed her, gushing out all of my fears.  And in her kindness and patience she replied to my email and said, “Just DO IT AFRAID!”

And so I am!

I don’t know if I’m going to Ethiopia or Uganda or somewhere else, but I know I’m going.  Because God tells us to – all of us – and I want to obey Him.  And I want to go for His glory.  He’s gone out of His way lately to show me that now is my time, and I’m going even if I have to DO IT AFRAID!

Kari, thank you so much for asking me to share my story – God’s story – and the journey He’s had me on over the past several years.   I’m so excited about what He is doing! [Valerie’s Blog]

FYI- Valerie just signed up for the Uganda Missions Trip with Visiting Orphans in June 2011!!!!!!!!! Whoooohoooooo sister- do it afraid!! Bloggy readers- what advice can you give someone who has never been on a missions trip and really feels afraid to take the first step?

Sharing is caring!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Are you ready to fundraise with Simply Love?
Buy the Kit Today