I have been going through Nehemiah: A Heart that Can Break by Kelly Minter. I bought the study with intentions of doing it this past spring with my church but in normal fashion, I over-committed myself and made the decision to not attend. Little did I know that after a month in Africa, Nehemiah and I would have a lot in common.
The summary of Nehemiah is simple: it is a story of what God can do with a compassionate heart that understands that the Lord wants to redeem His people. Nehemiah and I both have a heart for His people.
Nehemiah is rebuilding his people who have no hope. We all need to rebuild. It is a messy process, restoration takes time. But it is worth every second to have a heart that the Lord can use to change the world.
It has almost been a month since I left my heart in another country. As much as I wish I could forget the people I met while in Ethiopia and Uganda, I can't. I selfishly want to live my life wiith the way it was before I left. I returned changed. I no longer want to live as an entitled American. I want to work for the sole purpose of paying off my student loans to return to a country that captured my heart. My heart is burdened with those who need the Gospel.
The Lord gave me a tender heart to see His people come to him through His Son. I didn't ask to be changed. I did not know that going there would mean that my heart would never feel the same. I didn't know how radically I would want to change the way I have lived my life for 24 years.
I have trouble getting through each day without tears. The weirdest things set me off but I think the reminder of the month I was gone is a blessing. I don't ever want to forget how I felt walking back into the U.S. The emptiness, the anger, and the bitterness have left a stain on my life and serve as a reminder of how blessed I am and what I need to do with that.
At times, I want to sell all I own and walk away from the comfortable life I have been living. I am Stateside (for now) but I have come to realize that "sometimes the most accomplished people are not the ones with the most ability but with the most breakable hearts (Kelly Minter)."
Nehemiah 9:31, Nevertheless, in Your great compassion You did not make an end of them or forsake them, For You are a gracious and compassionate God.