At HD, the staff meets every week for a Formation of Servants meeting. FoS is a 12 Steps program that is a more explicitly Christian version of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Steps. These mandatory meetings were part of why I wanted to work with HD; I love being part of an organization that focuses on the brokenness of its staff simultaneously to the brokenness of the people we serve. BUT. I also. Don’t like it. Because it’s haaaard!
We’ve been doing these meetings for at least three months now, and I’ve been stuck on the first two steps the whole time. The first step is: “We admitted we are powerless over some of the effects of God’s sovereignty in our lives and because of our lack of trust in him our lives are unmanageable.” I was on this step for a LONG time, because I do not want to admit that I am powerless or that my life is unmanageable. I’m pretty good at managing my life, thank you very much. But eventually I did come to a breakthrough of sorts that allowed me to move on to step two, where I promptly got stuck again.
“We came to believe that our loving God, in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, could restore us to sanity.” This is the natural progression of step one; if I am not in control of my life, then God is. And…is he? Do I want him to have all of that power? Do I want to admit that I’m insane without him? No, no, no, I would much rather have everyone believe that I have it all together and can do anything that I put my mind to.
Underneath all of this is the question: do I trust God? Do I trust that he is both loving and powerful? I mean, definitely not always. It is hard to be a counselor and not think, “Um, God, what are you allowing in their lives!?” It is hard to be a human being and not think, “GOD, I could have used you just then!!”
These abstract thoughts are taking a coherent form in my new round of fundraising. This time last year, I worked on raising $27,000. I sent out many letters, I worked in a church where everyone could hear my story any time they stopped by the office, I ran a t-shirt drive and put together a yard sale. I had a team of people who consistently showed up to support me. I made a month-long road trip to visit people and tell my story. I did it. I mean, God helped. But in the narrative running through my head, I’m definitely giving myself the majority of the credit.
A caveat: I don’t think that is entirely bad. I definitely think God used my fundraising experience last year to develop my creativity and confidence, and I think I’m going to use those skills in the future for HD. But that was last year’s lesson.
This year’s lesson? It’s about actually trusting God, I think. It feels INCREDIBLY daunting to do fundraising in the United States from halfway around the world. I can send letters and emails and make Facebook announcements, but I can’t BE there. I can’t talk to people face-to-face, and I can’t motivate or manipulate or beg. I just have to…sit here, and trust that God will work in people’s hearts.
THAT IS SO HARD.
It is going to take a lifetime to learn to trust God fully. And the part of me that isn’t scared is really grateful for this chance to see God work. But. You know. There’s still that part of me that’s scared.
I guess I just have to wait and see what happens!