My best friend recently bought me a book she had been trying to get me to read for a while now. It’s called “Kisses from Katie” and it’s the story of an 18 year old girl that graduated high school, moved to Uganda, and adopted 14 kids. All by herself. All because God told her to.
We agreed on reading a chapter a day and then discussing it over Voxer. I read the first chapter, cried my eyes out, and decided I had to share my reactions here. So for the next couple of weeks I will be blogging about this book, one chapter at a time.
Chapter 2: In the crucible of contradiction
Quick Summary: Katie summarizes her first year in Uganda with the word “contradiction”. She talks about how battling with feelings of immeasurable happiness doing God’s work and loneliness for family, friends, and the familiar comforts of home. Embracing all the emotions as real and valid, at the end of the day though she wanted more than comfort. She wanted God. To dwell in His will for her life.
“I wanted to be challenged endlessly; I wanted to be learning and growing every minute. I wanted to be taught by those I teach, and I wanted to share God’s love with people who otherwise might not know it. I wanted to work so hard that I ended every day filthy and too tired to move. I wanted to feel needed, important, and used by the Lord. I wanted to make some kind of difference, no matter how small, and I wanted to follow the calling God had placed on my heart. I wanted to give my life away, to serve the Lord with each breath, each second. At the end of the day, no matter how hard, I wanted to be right here in Uganda.”
Do you ever think there’s got to be more to life than this? Waking up, trudging halfheartedly to work, grabbing dinner, maybe watching a movie, going home, then doing it all again the next day? I do. For the past 3-4 years I have been thinking that perhaps I’m not doing what God designed me to do. It started as a thought that would pop up every now and then when things at work became a bit too difficult for me. Maybe this isn’t where I’m meant to be. Maybe this isn’t what I’m meant to do. Over time though, that inconstant niggling thought at the back of my head has turned into a loud persistent voice – showing up front and center. It is telling me there is more to life than this. More to life than serving myself and my needs. This life is not meant for my benefit. It’s meant to be lived on behalf of God. By loving others. Being Jesus to them. And doing that in such a way that is uniquely me. I don’t know that I am called to open an orphanage in Uganda. I don’t know that I’m called to be a light in a world of industry titans. That’s the problem. I just don’t know. I don’t know what my calling is. But maybe, finally, I’m ready to listen to that loud persistent, constant voice in my head. Perhaps now, now that the stubbornness has been replaced by this all-consuming discontent with how I’m living, I’ll be ready to follow where it leads.
“But I should not pity these children. In fact, I should envy them. At six years old, these children know what it is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. These children know the greatness, the wonder of our God. I’ve had people ask me why I think Africa is so impoverished, but these children are not poor. I, as a person who grew up wealthy, am. I put value in things. These children, having no things, put value in God. I put my trust in relationships; these children, having already seen relationships fail, put their trust in the Lord.”
My prayer today is to learn to leave these things and attachments behind. To put my trust wholly in God and be willing to do whatever it is He asks of me. I am not Katie Davis and I cannot do what she has been called to do. Oh but to know that I am willing! Willing to be changed so completely by the God who enables me to be more than just a cog in the machine, to do more than what I know I am capable of. To rest in the center of His will for my life. And to go forth and do what He has designed me to do. At the end of my life, I want to be able to say (as Katie is able to) “I have given my life away, an offering made with devotion, to serve the Lord, with each breath, each second.”
To learn more about Katie and her ministry you can check out Katie’s blog here.