In the beginning.....

I guess I should get this blog going.  I started this because I feel that God has revealed so much to me in the last few weeks and I need a place to get it all down and to look back on what I truly feel is going to become an unbelievable journey.  To be honest though, this journey didn't start a few weeks ago.  I could try to trick myself and say that it started about a year ago when Jason and I first started throwing the word 'mission' around.  Being truly honest though (and anyone that might actually be reading this) I know that it started 17yrs ago.  It started at the end of the most amazing summer I have lived still to today.  After I spent a summer in Mozambique, Africa with Teen Missions Int'l.  After experiencing what I did and seeing what I saw I knew, without a doubt, that God intended my life to be different from the norm.  I knew that God was calling me to a life of mission work.  Even going back home and trying to be a normal teenager was difficult.  It was hard to get interested in things like high school and prom when you had just seen the poverty that we saw.

Now though, 17yrs later, you might be wondering why I am just now continuing the calling that I clearly received so long ago.  It is because over the years, I let myself become numb to what I saw.  I just let myself get wrapped up in achieving the cookie cutter life everyone seems to so desire.  I kept coming up with excuses as to why I couldn't serve God just yet.  I will after I graduate college, or after I get married, or after I am done having kids, because who wants to have kids in Africa?  Finally I realized that if I let it, these excuses could become endless.  Each time I read about other missionaries and all the need for help that is still in the world I would just keep looking over both shoulders, assuming that God must be talking to someone else about it, surely not me.  Such a tragic story of all the orphans that die each day of starvation, but surely someone else would deal with that.  I feel like God has finally slapped me in the face and yelled, "Yes, YOU!!  It is YOU I am talking to and have been for so many years".

Do I have fears, yes.  Do I have a crystal clear picture of what God wants us to do, no.  The thing is though that finally, after such a long time, I am no longer making excuses of why it shouldn't be me.  I can no longer act like all the verses in the bible that talk about taking care of orphans surely were just put there for someone else's purpose.

I no longer feel like I am entitled to certain things just because I was born in America, or that my kids are entitled to certain things.  I have been so extremely blessed. I realize this.  I also realize that I should take those blessings and use them to bless those who aren't as fortunate.  God has given me so much in my life to be thankful for.  He gave me the most amazing husband, even during a time that I wasn't even close to trying to follow His will for my life.  He has blessed me with four healthy children and family that I am so thankful for.

I am ready now, and Jason is ready, to follow what God has called us to do and take our gifts and serve Him.    To be better examples of God's love.  This is what we want our children to see in us, to know about their parents.  In heaven it won't matter whose children had the best primary education or had the best coach for football or whose parent was the most active in PTO.  What we did for His kingdom will matter and this is what we want to show our kids.

Jason and I are not perfect and I know we will make mistakes in this journey.  We have so much to learn, to discover and so much growing to do, but it is an unbelievable feeling to quit fighting it and to finally, TRULY turn our lives over to Him and to follow His will, not our own.
Matthew OrtegaComment