Some of you will know that I have a somewhat ridiculous memory. I call it ridiculous in response to my friends always wondering how on earth I remember those little obsolete things that apparently, they don’t.
Well, I’m currently wondering if God gifted me with this filing cabinet type memory for moments like this, so that He can pull out a file when He chooses and bring me into flashback mode:
It was two weeks before I came to Urban Promise Toronto. I’d been here the summer before but I was now making a year long commitment.
I had yet to announce it to my church. (I know, it’s awful. I was incredibly shy back then, ok!?)
I felt complete peace that it was where God wanted me for the year. But I wasn’t excited. I had no passion for what I was about to do. I was about to embark on a missions year but my heart was not there. So, I started to pray. I asked God to put my heart in the right place.
It was Sunday morning. We sang what I thought to be an old Catholic song, in my Baptist church:
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.
I thanked God for speaking to my heart and I asked if I could take a moment the next Sunday, the last Sunday before I left, to tell my church what I would be doing.
One day that week I went to Lakeside, that amazing park in my town, and I sat on a bench looking out on the lake and I told God my worries:
“God, I know I’m going. But I’m not excited. I don’t really care even. I feel awful, but my heart just isn’t there yet. I don’t even know why I’m going. I just know I am. I feel like it’s right. I want to be where you want me”
I went to my church and I told them I didn’t know what I was doing, but I was going to try and follow God’s calling and to hold His people in my heart.
I came back at the end of the summer overflowing with love for a group of children, and for the community they live in. I told my church with excitement that they should remember Camp Peace and Alexandra Park in their prayers.
At the end of my first year internship I stood in front of them once again. This time with stories of the amazing things God had been doing in my life and the lives of these kids that I love. People who hadn’t known me told me they were inspired, people who had told me how drastically I had changed. I wasn’t as timid as I had been a year before. (Our God does not give us a spirit of timidity you see…)
Now, well into my second year internship, Urban Promise will no longer be working in Alexandra Park. Camp Peace has closed. For the next three and a half months I will be serving at Camp Victory.
I wish that at this moment I could be sitting on a bench in Lakeside Park looking out at the lake. It might be cold, but at least it’s familiar. I have another outpouring for my Heavenly Father:
“God, I know I’m going. But I’m not excited. It hurts a little even. I’m sorry, but my heart just isn’t there yet. I want to be where you want me. So, I’ll go. You gave me a heart for Downtown Toronto. Now I need you to work that love of yours in me again. I can’t help but think that my heart just doesn’t have room for a new place and all new children. It’s up to you, once again, you’re going to have to lend me some of your love. I can’t do it on my own. But I will go where you lead me Lord. And again, I will hold your people in my heart.”