These are words I hear almost every day, without fail. I always tell them how thankful we are to be doing this, and how much we love and adore the children. And that is true. We know without a doubt that we are in the center of God's will. We are exactly where we are supposed to be. We understand this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, which is why we chose to do this sooner rather than later. We will never have this opportunity again.
But sometimes, it's hard. This job is by far the most difficult thing we have ever done. And sometimes, I look at those people who envy my life, smile at them and respond kindly, and think to myself, "If only you knew. It's not glamorous. Not at all." Most days, there is at least one point where I want to pull my hair out. I wonder to myself, "Will this day ever end?"
We don't wonder if we chose the right path. We know that we did. But just because God told us to do this, doesn't mean He promised that it would be easy or that we would be happy all the time.
The traveling has lost all its appeal at this point on our journey. I love to travel, but we understand now there is a difference between "traveling" and being "on the road." Traveling entails choosing a beautiful location, seeing the sights, staying in nice hotels, eating amazing foods, and relaxing. Being "on the road" means praying that the bus doesn't break down on a long drive, having all the fast-food menus memorized, and doing about 200 concerts a year (with the same songs!). From day to day, my thoughts change from, "I can't believe it's already December!" to "Oh my gosh, it's only December??!!!"
I miss home. Any home. I miss Kentucky, I miss Americus, I miss Dothan, I miss our family, I miss our friends. I miss cooking and setting up house in a stationary location. I miss taking baths. I miss going to a church just to worship and I miss being in a Bible study. I miss hopping in my car and going somewhere ALONE. I miss having any kind of girl friends that I can hang out with. I told Jay yesterday that I never would have made it through this if he wasn't with me. He is the only person in the whole world who will ever understand exactly what I'm feeling and what we're going through. That in itself has brought us closer, and for that I am thankful.
Every day, at some point in the day, I look into the face of a smiling child and know that all the sacrifices are worth it. Every morning when Suresh yells, "Auntie Taylor, where is my hug??!!!" Or when Rose kisses my stomach through my shirt and tells me she loves me. Or when Martin asks who I love more, him or Uncle Jay. Or when I think about the hundreds of children will never have to wonder when they will get to eat again, or if they will ever get to go to school. We will never meet them, but those are the children we're doing this for. In some small way, we are making a difference in the world. I only hope that after this is over, we can continue ministering to others, even if it doesn't reach all the way to Uganda or Nepal.
A verse that I've been mulling over the past few days:
"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing."
2 Corinthians 2:14-15
That's what I want more that anything-to be the fragrance of Christ above all else, whether that is with Children of the World or as a teacher, a wife, a daughter, or a friend.