My life is a story not yet complete but written by a complete, unchanging God…
Here it is, as I could recite to you in 3 minutes….
The run-down trailer was the home of a mother in her 40s and a pregnant teenage daughter. Our team’s minivan climbed the mountainside driveway to our week’s roofing assignment. My paralyzing fear of heights was all I could think about as the week began. The only thing I had told our team leader before leaving was that I wanted to keep my feet on the ground – so the only thing he was sure to do was put me on his work crew and then put our crew on a roof, on a mountainside.
The fear didn’t overcome me – one step at a time, literally, fear was overcome in His grace that week.
Flash forward a couple of years and I am caught staring out the window of a rundown school bus as it bounces and blares its way through the streets of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. I was there because someone told me about missionaries, a foreign concept to me until I was well into high school, but by this point the Lord had expanded my heart for the poor and hurting… The idea that I could spend the rest of my life serving blew my mind and I no longer had a desire to pursue anything else.
Those fast, intense days in Haiti left my heart in shambles and my mind-set. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to really comprehend the things that I saw during that week, but it was in that place that I made a commitment to serve the Lord with my life.
The next few years are full of restlessness and wrestling. Seasons of severe discontent and impatience because I couldn’t get where I thought I needed to be to live the way my heart wanted to fast enough. There was great pain and disappointment… deep loneliness… at times I thought I may never fit somewhere.
In the summer of 2009 as I sat with a woman who was about to depart for the mission field, I expressed my deep frustration with this feeling that the Lord had given me a deep desire to live among the poor and in sharing life, be a changing agent of the Gospel, but had not provided anyone to do so with – all too frequently I would share my heart and hear “that’s great, but when you get some more clear direction on what you want to do let us know.”
I will never forget her response to my raw honesty – “Lindsey, you need to keep living and doing what is right in front of you. Take each step one at a time, this is not just about arriving somewhere.” Those words and one specific homework assignment sent me on a path of connection right where I was.
I started taking those single steps, and the single steps continued through the year… until they walked me off a plane in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and into a home in the slums. For four weeks I lived with a Cambodian family, ate their food, slept in their house, and learned their language. For four weeks I repeatedly found Christ in my new family… particularly in my new sister, Bong Roon. The last and the least in our community, but the first to offer me a hand, a hug, or an impromptu language lesson.
Once back home I took a great amount of time to reflect as a means of looking forward. I saw how the Lord had carried me and guided each step. He didn’t just walk me through a conquering of physical heights back in West Virginia, but He gently guided me down from my isolated, safe, top-down means of loving the poor and afflicted with the love of Christ. He has so lovingly taken me into their homes, shown me my own poverty, and given me the grace to trust him with the journey forward.
One step at a time I have walked forward, expecting that before my path He will place others for me to journey with – the road is messy and painful at times, but this journey down is bringing up those from the bottom so that one day we will stand on level ground and call out His holy name together. Today I call Denver, Colorado my home. Here I live a “normal” life in not-so-normal ways. I’m no longer striving to become something so I can one day live… today I’m living so that I will one day become and bear the weight of righteousness.
My story in six words…