Having an open heart is hard. Alot of times it’s absolutely brutal and hurtful. Other times, it’s the most rewarding thing you can do, ever. That was a tough issue for me on my mission trip, at the beginning. I didn’t want to have an open heart about things, I wanted to push through doubts and shortcomings I had to get to “the good stuff.” It was very much about what I could do…until the first worship service of the trip. The theme was restoration. God knew He needed to break me and restore me in Him. I’d carried a larger piece of baggage that no airline could check. My heart was closed off because of hurt and brokenness I’d gone through the last couple of months. In completing the restoration process we were asked to write a letter to God about what we needed restoring and letting the worry and pain from it go. Alot of times I’ve scoffed at this type of symbolism and worship…..never again. God opened my heart back up in a complete way. He threw open the gates and let all of Mexico in.
Two days later I did something for the first time that terrified me. I did street ministry with four strangers in a country where I did not speak the language. I asked complete strangers what we, as servants, could do for them in their homes. I asked if we could pray over them…and then commenced to praying for families I did not know. Looking back, even now, I see God used me in those moments and I didn’t even realize it. I sit here looking back over the last year of my life in silenced wonder. God did all of this. He led me to go, He grew me to prepare me, He spoke to me in every instance. He provided. I’m still dumbfounded and in awe at all He has done. I’m thankful for the opportunity He placed in my path and the obedience and strength He gave me to go. It’s given me such a desire to not stop and to not leave it there….but to bring it with me everyday. To see the faces I usually don’t pay attention to as those whom God has put in our path for a reason each day and use those opportunities as a chance to further His kingdom and show others the image of Christ within us.
Having an open heart won’t keep you from getting hurt, from sinning, or from pain…but the moments of joy that come from opening your heart to what God’s commanding you to be open about is at times, unspeakable and humbling.