What does it feel like to be "most satisfied with my life?" I have milled this question around in my head for the last few days, and it has recalled some interesting memories to mind. The first moment that came to my head happened this summer, when I held sweet Zaaratu in my lap and sang "How He Loves" to the little girl who hadn't a clue how much her Heavenly Father is jealous for her soul. It was satisfying simply because I knew that I was doing the best I could to share that precious Gospel with her, to the best of my meager abilities, and God would do the rest. But after thinking about it, I found something better.
It was cold, and I didn't really feel like spending the afternoon reigning in all the rambunctious kiddos. I prayed for their mom, and I wondered about their dad- what must life be like to come home from school in a foreign country, pass the time until it gets dark, and finally see your parents when they get off work around the time you're supposed to go to bed? As I climbed the steps to their apartment, I shuddered thinking about how many cockroaches I would see on this visit. I even thought about turning around and going home, waiting until next week to visit them again.
Top floor. Locked doors. I knocked, but no little beady eyes peeked through the blinds; no African voice calling out "it's Miss Em-a-lay." My only welcomer was a bright yellow note, which read "VACANT." My heart sank.
After a month of buckets of tears and hopeful prayers, I was able to find a forwarding address for my sweet and crazy refugee family. Driving to an unfamiliar neighborhood, I prayed and cried and hoped and begged that God would lead me to their home. I prayed that, after finding them, He would use me to show Christ's love in a new and rich way... and He answered my cry.
Little brick house. Long sidewalk. A hesitant knock at the door, familiar beady eyes peeking through the blinds. This time, the usual voice of recognition sounded like a siren, as the entire house shrieked my name and scrambled to open the door. I was hugged and kissed and hammered with questions: "how did you find us?" "we thought you would never come!" "we did not know how to tell you that we left." I cried a couple tears of sweet joy, and I thanked God that He was able to reunite us. This was a sweet moment, but ultimately the satisfaction came when one sweet boy asked me about Jesus. One sweet boy asked me about Jesus. Did you hear that? After a month away from my sweet African family, the first thing they wanted to talk about was the Savior who led me to find them! We talked about the Bible, and they were very curious. Good conversation and curious hearts led us to Bible stories and talk of God's love for us. God was able to plant a seed and show how much Christ searches after them, just as I searched for them on earth.
It is satisfying to travel across the world and spend time loving on children I may never see again. It is satisfying to share Christ with a nation that is unreached and/or unengaged. But it is most satisfying to trust that the Lord will work in me, right where I am, to accomplish His good purposes. In all things, He works for the good of those who love Him and He always works things out according to His perfect plan. The most satisfying moment for me: watching God work, and coming along for the ride.