I am pretty sure I have a problem with the idea of dependence, especially when it slams into those areas where I think I should be competent. Let’s be frank. I have some serious pride issues. Wouldn’t you know that our trip to Bolivia would put me smack dab in a place of God’s grace so that he might continue his good work of refining — just a bit more — this stubborn child of his?
As one who loves and works with kids (and one who barely gets outside of Arlington County), I knew a trip to Cochobamba to play with the kids of Ninos con Valor and to encourage the children’s ministry leaders of La Trinidad Anglican Church would be just my thing. I knew that my few years of French wouldn’t exactly sub in for having taken no Spanish, but these were KIDS we were talking about! I speak kid! And teachers? I’ve loved teachers forever and being with them and sharing ideas is what gets me really excited. This was going to be a piece of cake!
Except that it wasn’t. Always.
Prior to our trip, I began to get those butterflies, a sure sign to me that all is not well in my spirit. I began to loosen my grip and reach out to friends to ask them to pray. My anxiety decreased. As we waited to board our flight at Dulles, I asked Eva-Elizabeth to create this for me, a reminder that I am God’s child and he most certainly speaks my language:
Throughout our trip, I found myself being less and less “sufficient” and more and more in need. I needed help knowing where to go in airports. I needed help translating handouts for the teacher training. I needed help understanding what others were trying to tell me. I needed help telling others how much I appreciated them. I needed help with the Colombian “TSA” as they pulled me aside for a pre-board check of my person and my bags.
And with every need, God provided.*
There are – I have learned – tremendous gifts in being dependent. Doing so forces me to deny self, to give up control, to acknowledge my own weaknesses; and to learn to receive. Even more, dependence allows me to see others’ strengths and to nestle in and see God at work through them.
As I hustle back in to my daily life in Arlington, may I continue to rest in his grace and proclaim ¡Señor! ¡Oh, cómo te necesito!
*Thanks, Equipo Bolivia for loving me well!