Thursday, August 12, 2010

Choices: To Faint or To Leap in Life

When I was young, I had a vision problem. Each day I’d go to school and after a very short time I’d find myself headache ridden with a blurry world, so I’d shut my eyes and rub them, hoping the issue would go away.

After visiting a brilliant eye doctor, the problem was discovered, revealed to us, and we were provided a solution. With a new prescription in hand, my mother and I went to the store and selected frames so that I could better face the world.

As I entered adulthood, a new vision problem emerged – seeing the entire world around me.

I like to think that I am good at noticing the needs of people immediately in front of me. We volunteer in church. If there is a special cause that we feel passionate about, we donate as we able. And, I’m very involved in crisis pregnancy center ministry. When I see a need I respond.

But as a young adult who hadn’t travelled much, there was a lot that I couldn’t see. One weekend at Women of Faith changed that. Before me on the big arena screens were pictures of beautiful World Vision children, loved by the same God, but without the same access to safe water, medical care, education, and healthy food.

My heart broke. I knew these problems existed, but I’d never seen the faces or heard their stories firsthand before. On top of that, I was a new mother. My desire for these children to be healthy, succeed, and know the Lord as my own would intensified.

Because my husband and I make financial decisions together, I didn’t choose to sponsor a child while I was there. When I got home, I shared the story with him, and yet I also shared my concerns. After all, we’d made financial concessions when I opted to be a stay at home mother. Could we afford this? How big of a difference would it really make?

I wanted to and yet I became that stressed child from long ago that couldn’t see quite right. Immediately, I closed my eyes rubbing them, hoping the issue would just go away.

And in that moment we had a choice. We could be what Women of Faith contributor Jan Silvious refers to as a fainting goat and refuse to face the truth. Or, we could be leaping lambs that rejoice in the midst of duress because Christ is in the center of it, and with His guidance we CANNOT go wrong.

As we prayed, the Scripture “He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God” (Proverbs 14:31) came to our minds and we both felt confident that we were supposed to take the financial leap to sponsor.

Gathering around the computer, we looked up a child that shared the same birthday as our little girl. Big brown eyes, beautiful brown locks of hair, and a huge baby grin gazed back at us. Andrea was meant to be our child.

And what a blessing it has been. Through shared letters with her mother, we’ve learned more about her life and joys. We’ve been able to talk with our four year old about the differences in Andrea’s way of living (she farms and we do not) and similarities (they both like to play with siblings and draw pictures) and how we love the same God.

Since Andrea lives in an always warm climate she asked in last week’s letter about snow. You think this will awe her?!


Our lives were enriched because we chose to be the leaping lamb. In the face of an overwhelming earthly circumstance, we jumped with our arms outstretched at what God placed before us, trusting that He would provide.

I don’t know what you face today. But, I do know that life presents us with a series of circumstances and a multitude of choices every day. Some of them are brought upon us and some of them we choose. Some of them are distant and some of them are right before our eyes. Some feel “huge” and crush us from every side and others are seemingly “little” and insignificant but still affect the whole. Regardless, I pray that you will look to God so that you can face life with clear vision and jump for joy with His direction.

End note: August is National Water Quality Month and that is why I chose to focus on the World Vision decision. Thank you World Vision for the work you do to make water safer around the world.

5 comments:

  1. Melissa, this is so touching. So glad you were impacted and thank you for being a leaping goat. :)

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  2. It's nice to meet you! Found you over at (in) courage. I blog over at Ordinary Inspirations: http://www.ordinaryinspirations.blogspot.com

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  3. Melissa,
    Thank you so much for sharing this post with us via Twitter. We are so incredibly blessed to hear and in many ways, be a part of your own faith and compassion story. I'd love to connect with you more in the future. Please contact us via Twitter anytime and feel free to email me personally at LTaleric@worldvision.org Many blessings!

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  4. I saw your tweet to World Vision and found your blog! I hope you will write more about your sponsored child, I love hearing people's stories! I have two little girls, one in Albania and the other in South Africa and I just love having them in my life!

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  5. This is so great - Also Richard Sterns book "A Hole in the Gospel" makes you feel confident the $$ that you are sending is used effectively. (He's the President of World Vision and WOF speaker.)

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