On Friday, June 12, my grandpa died, and by every earthly estimation, I was trapped in Bolivia, with no way to be home with my family as we mourned his loss. Guys, this was hard. This was so hard.
It was sudden, but it wasn’t necessarily a complete surprise. Because of how he was doing before I’d left for Bolivia, I had considered the fact that I might never see him again. I surrendered that into Jesus’ hands. For me, it was part of counting the cost of choosing to follow Him to Bolivia.
That day I spent a lot of time thinking and processing. I lay in the grass at the mission base, staring at the clouds, thinking about counting the cost. Thinking about how any time the Lord leads us to a place away from home, there is the chance we will never see loved ones again. Thinking about how counting the cost was going to entail a lot more surrender than I had once imagined. Thinking about what Paul says in Philippians 3:
…I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.Philippians 3:8, NASB, emphasis mine
Suffered the loss of all things. Sure, there were a few people I’d surrendered to Jesus in my heart before I left for Bolivia. People I’d left in His hands. But… all? Olivia, if it literally cost you every person you loved, would you still go after Jesus?
I wrote a song last year. The chorus to it became a real challenge to me.
“Yes, Jesus! Oh Jesus, I choose
To follow You, no matter what I lose
‘Cause I have everything when I gain You
So though it cost me everything I’ll sing anew
I don’t know what it’s going to cost me. But as far as I am able, I surrender all. Only let me have Jesus.
That I may gain Christ. Among us single people, there’s a common temptation to decide to do things God’s way so that He’ll give us a spouse, and if we stay pure and walk in His ways and “make Him our focus,” we get disappointed when no special someone comes our way. Something similar can happen here; surrendering all so that God will give us some grand adventure, so that we’ll become the heroes the next generations look to. I’ve felt this pull.
But all of that? It’s loss compared to knowing Christ. May knowing Him always be my motive and my goal. May I seek Him for Himself, not for what I’ll get out of Him.
I write these words from my home in Indiana. Monday, June 15 I was told there would be no seats available in the plane. Tuesday, June 16, I was flying home. The Lord truly gave me a miracle that day, and I was able to be home for my grandpa’s funeral.
Our God is always good.
As I spend time with friends and family, this will be my last (relatively) normal update for a while! Though I may write some about culture shock and things that have stood out to me in adjusting back to life in the United States.
I can’t thank you all enough for how you have prayed for me and supported me in other ways! I was truly prayed home. Now pray me back to Bolivia! Haha. 🙂 Pray…
- For God’s continued provision and protection for the children’s home and those caring for it
- That I would live my “vacation time” to its fullness and God would accomplish everything He desires to work in me during this time
- That I’d be able to go back to Bolivia as planned!
Sweet blessings in Jesus!