I had another Luganda lesson this morning. As I was walking to class, I could feel a little hesitation in my step, but that feeling quickly faded, which opened doors to a pretty productive day…
After class, I took a little jog across the street—haha, who am I kidding?…
I didn’t jog; I walked. . .
Nonetheless, I headed to a little café to meet a friend from church. Not long into our conversation, my friend boldly admitted that this whole ‘Jesus thing” is just too tough to grasp.
“Of course I go to church every Sunday, but I can’t wait until it is over…”
I quietly watched as she recalled moments that were particularly confusing to her and I couldn’t help but feel immense empathy for her.
Why? Because just a few years ago, I was her! Trapped in that very same situation—I had ‘accepted Jesus’ and was surrounded by fellow believers…but I felt more lost and alone than I ever had before! I would see people raising their hands at church, shouting and praising Jesus. During conversations, they would rattle on about how ‘God has changed my life’, and ‘My joy is in Christ’, and ‘I live for Jesus.’ Their words did not resonate with me at all…I just didn’t get it. They had surely gotten something that I was still missing.
I was angry. And jealous. And confused. If Jesus really is the same ‘yesterday, today, and forever,’ then why were they suddenly overflowing with happiness and confidence…yet I didn’t feel a thing?
Across the table, my friend continued to explain, “I’ve tried reading the Bible, but those stories don’t make sense to me. I need help to understand what all of those words mean.”
I nodded in agreement. As a new and young believer, I too didn’t understand the hidden meaning rooted in the scriptures.
“And when I ask questions, nobody wants to sit down and explain things to me. So, I have just accepted that the ‘following Jesus’ thing may not be for me. Other people can do it, but for me, I don’t know what it means.”
And there it was again, that little nudge from God reassuring me that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Just as He had done a few years back, His gentleness was speaking to my heart. It was as if I could hear Him say, “But she is made in My image! My love for her is unending and I won’t give up on her. It is time to fight for her heart.”
God hasn’t called me here because of my intellect or my insight or anything else for that matter. And that’s okay because this isn’t about me anyway. This is all about God and His incredible love for His children. More and more I am coming to realize that I am not qualified to be here. I don’t have what it takes to do this work…except, I do. I have Jesus and that is all it takes to win over hearts.
My friend—along with countless other Deaf kids throughout Uganda—are desiring to find their true identity. They long to feel loved and to feel whole. They may not know it yet, but they need Jesus. They just don’t know how to find Him.
(Insert: God's awesome plan...with me in the middle of it all!...)
It is quite daunting to think about this road God has laid before me, but then I remember His promise to always go before me. Without fail, He leaves me humbled, excited, and extremely thankful that He has afforded me such an opportunity to walk alongside these precious young people as they begin to discover the power of Christ.
(P.S. Please pray with me: I am praying that my life will be a constant light and a tangible expression of His love for them and that I remain in a steadfast surrender as He uses me to offer salvation to His beloved Deaf children.)