Right about this time last year, I would have been shifting into hardcore fundraising mode. I would be leaving for China in a little over month. And Peru in about two and a half.
I was planning like crazy for Worthday at the Sagrada Familia Orphanage. I was trying desperately to raise all the funds needed to get me to China and that wonderfully magical Big Blue House.
This year is so different. The biggest thing on my mind right now is exams. After that... nothing. I'm not going out of the country. No mission trips. No orphanages.
And, honestly, it's really hard. It's hard seeing all those Facebook statuses and tweets of "95 days until Peru," "47 days until Haiti," and "can't wait to be back at Maria's".
I don't miss Peru or China. But I do miss Carmencita. I do miss Tabitha. I miss the feeling I got in those places. Although, it was more than a feeling really. It was this overwhelming peace, satisfaction, and fulfillment. A resting place. A time where I knew without a shadow of a doubt, "This is where I'm meant to be."
The difference between this year and last year is that last year, where I was meant to be was where I wanted to be.
This year, where I'm meant to be is not where I want to be.
Sure I'm enjoying the break from stress about fundraising, organizing, etc. But I miss being with orphans. I miss feeling so full of purpose.
But, what I misunderstood is that my purpose is not to care for orphans. My passion may be to love special needs orphans, but my purpose is to follow God.
And right now, God wants me to wait and listen. And that is much harder than raising $1000.
But in the midst of waiting and listening, He also wants me to dream. He created me to dream. To see what could be instead of what is. Used at the wrong place and the wrong time, this gift can be used to destroy both me and others. But used in God's way in God's time, there is no limiting it.
My dreams are as colorful as a canvas painting and as far-reaching as the sky. My biggest dream is to create a Maria's in Russia. In the region my sister was adopted from. Evan's Big House of Hope. There, I could take care of all the kids like my sister. I could give them the hope and the love that they are so desperate for. I could be an instrument for God's glory by showing people the beauty of His creations.
Sometimes it seems so far-fetched. Most teenagers want to get married and have a family and a nice house when they grow up. I want to up and move to another country and live in a huge special needs orphanage. Marriage relationship optional (let's be real, how many guys would want to uproot to Russia?).
But I know in my heart that my dreams did not come from me. They came from God. God knows the desires of my heart. He knows where my passion lies. I just have to learn to trust him with it.