It’s so funny how you can look back on the areas where you were so defiant towards Jesus and suddenly it makes sense. You realize his plan was greater all along. I’ve been told I’m stubborn (hope my dad doesn’t read this or I’ll NEVER hear the end of it) and unfortunately that’s very true and especially has been in my relationship with God.
From so early God put something special on my heart and all these years I haven’t been able to shake it. While supposed passions fizzled and died out, this little part of my heart always stayed and being in Uganda solidified how blindly disobedient I had been being to Jesus.
Since I was a little kid I’ve always been drawn to individuals with special needs, seeing no difference and praying, urging, demanding, and hoping individuals with disabilities are never treated different or less than. And while I’ve been a part of this community since I was nine years old (I started “peer” coaching at school during recess and continued all through Junior High and most of high school, as well a other continuous work) as I got older different ideas fluttered through my mind but I would always find myself coming back to this community. Fast forward in college in Los Angeles and I started believing I would want to make a certain amount of money so certain jobs just had to be off the table. How foolish.
Somewhere around June of this last year as I started growing my relationship with God I started listening to him. I remember the moment really clearly that I can look back on sitting at my internship with a talent manager and all I wanted to do was focus on my Special Education teaching courses and couldn’t keep my attention off the text book or thinking about the class later that night. Uhm me thinking about a class and wanting to be there early and prepared? Yeah that so wasn’t me. I think that’s why this moment is so distinct.
I say that I finally listened to Jesus, rather than say I finally heard him because I believe Jesus is always communicating with us and we have to invest in that relationship and step out of what we perceive to be the “ideal” to realize there’s such a grander plan.
I’ve always had a heart for adoption and children and got even more invested in that this past summer preparing for the mission work in Uganda. Well God let me just say I get it. Being in Uganda I felt this click, this moment where I realized he has transformed my desires to match his will for me. If your not a Christian this probably sounds crazy and you’re reading this like…ok. And I get it. For so long I pushed back against Jesus. Against knowing him and while I can’t speak for everyone I believe life is radically better following God. And I say that from experience.
Long story short I feel this contentment knowing that Special Education, in whatever capacity, is where I’m supposed to end up. The joy that I feel when I’m helping out in a classroom or sitting and playing with the child no one else is, is incomparable to the sort of happiness I was seeking and finding. I personally feel like my eyes have been opened and that I see there are so many people in this world that need help. I’m seeing it first hand and it’s too real and all too apparent.
In Uganda having special needs is seen as a curse to most families. Witchcraft and witch doctors and their beliefs are often the ideology in villages, those with disabilities not getting and education, often being left alone, locked in there houses or not counted as a part of their families. It’s a lack of education and resources and understanding. Could you imagine? That could be any one of us. I feel so strongly about helping others with special needs in Uganda, and for that alone-the clarity-that’s why Jesus put me in Uganda for this mission trip. Although I feel like I’ve learned a lot more, it just made me realize that God loves us so much he’ll use the craziest ways to show us that he has something unimaginably grand in store.
I really just write this blog for myself and so I have somewhere to remember these years of my life. But if anyone is struggling with discerning what Jesus wants of them-be patient. You’re not going to get it right every time but the cool thing is God never asks that of us! Here’s to defying disobedience and realizing we’re not always right (I don’t want to here I told you so Dad)!