It was a risk coming here.
I kinda draggggged my family along.
I mean, they were willing and all (…under-their-breath-grumbling). We all read Donald Miller's A Million Miles in a Thousand Years - so the kids were on board with pursuing a bigger story for our family (…eye-rolling). And Kevin definitely agreed it was important to put our faith into action (…exhausted sigh).
But it was, after all, my idea. I'm the one who heard the call - and followed God's dot-to-dots, till they landed us here at the Manuelito Navajo Children's Home.
As my friend Scott Stearman said, our family tends to jump right into the deep end of the pool. I like to blame most of our risk-taking on my husband, but the truth of it is, I don't color in the lines so well either.
Over the years, some of our risk-taking hasn't quiiiiite paid off. Ahem. Like to the tune of $50,000 business loans & all that.
But then again, sometimes it has. Like the knock-our-socks-off equity in the straw-bale house we built with our blood, sweat, & tears.
I wish I could say the failures were from missing the Lord...and the successes were from following the Lord. But it's just not so clear-cut. Seems like we were always striving to hear; seeking wisdom, in faith.
Maybe, like Caleb writes, its more about the journey than the destination. Maybe what I thought were risk-fractured failures, were actually an important part of the journey.
We're two weeks into our journey here at the Children's Home. Today Lyranda came to our little 'apartment' and babysat our four youngest ones while we went on a hike with the big kids. Lyranda is 15, the oldest of 3 sisters here, and my assistant for the pre-school program. I'm wondering more & more if she is the reason I'm here...more than teaching little Monica about phonics. I'm helping Lyranda find a hope and a future, as she discovers a tender gifting, working with & teaching little ones.
It's a risk. Encouraging her in that hope, I mean. Might send her off into the deep end of the pool, where she'll need college tuition funds, and meet with challenges & hardships, where there's equal chance for sink or swim. Just like the last couple of kids to graduate from the Children's Home...one ended up with work & life & wife in North Texas; one ended up back on the reservation, jobless, purposeless, hopeless.
Autumn sits & laughs & talks with the other teen girls here this afternoon, during Kevin's 'Purpose & Calling' class. Her strength-of-convictions and strong opinions surprise some of them, and inspire others. Theresa matches her word for word, while Julia cracks jokes, and Lyranda looks on, wide brown eyes taking it all in.
As I'm watching God at work here, I'm starting to understand...the risk of jumping into the deep end of the pool is almost always worth it. Despite the fear and hardships, splashing and floundering, I can see beautiful evidence of swimming going on here in these deep waters.