What Ruined My Life

This is a letter to all the girls like Lacy Ridley and +Tiffany Stuart  out there.

Dear Lacy and Tiffany,

Both of you are about to be ruined.

For life.

Lacy, in just 33 days and some odd number of hours, your feet will land on foreign soil    Tiffany, while yours is just a few weeks beyond our own departure, I want to prepare you both.

Eyes.

Every face will hold an expression–some filled with joy…some harder to determine.  Mistrust for sure because of the pain suffered at the hard task master called “life”.

Tiffany, with each click of your camera–you will capture a glimpse into a heart.  Then, you will later gaze back into those eyes and wonder what they were thinking about you.  You, with your bright and ready smile, tender heart and head full of blonde hair–they will look at your eyes and wonder why yours are filled with water…and why that water spills over.

My first trip ruined me for anything and everything else.

For months I couldn’t shop–and wondered why in the world other people were shopping…what could they possibly need.  I cleaned out my closet almost weekly and found, every-single-time, more to give away.

And I cried for lives that I knew lived in hardships that were none of their choosing.  They didn’t choose to walk off of a job and stand in a welfare line.  Jobs are scarce and there is no welfare.

My mind is continually filled with “what more can I do”.  I want to do more.  I lay awake at night and ask God to fill my dreams and my sleep with His plans and show me something that I can learn to do–or something that I can say that will help–in some way.  Somehow.

It’s hard to take enough things to give away–and dangerous too.  Your heart will break the second  you hand your last piece of candy to the dirty outstretched fingers–and you will look beyond those eyes and see dozens more coming….wanting….waiting…

But do take candy.  It’s a sweet gift and don’t often get something wrapped up tight in colorful paper.

Expect to be affected.  By the sounds-sights-and smells.  Some sights will delight….and some sights will bring tears.

There were time it seems when I walked, I felt myself praying with every single step.  And sometimes I could hardly think clearly.

Your first mission trip will likely be the most emotionally draining experience you will ever encounter.  But it will be the emotionally and spiritually best feeling ever as well.

Expect to go to bed each night exhausted–and try and make your mind shut down and sleep.

Journal everything.  I mean take your journal and write down everything you can while you are traveling–because you will forget some things, even though you tell yourself you won’t.

When you come home and tell your heart wrenching stories, some will weep with  you–and others will look at your with kind wonder–but they won’t understand your passion.  And I learned that’s okay.  It’s my passion.  Not theirs.

Everyone is not expected to go on the foreign mission field…but everyone is expected to be involved in missions…in other ways.

Tell your stories.  To anyone who will listen-you never know how your story will inspire someone else to dream big, take a leap of faith, believe God for big things in their own lives.

This was written for my new friend Lacy Ridley, but also for my dear precious friend, Tiffany Stuart who is about to realize her dream…and it will be amazing!

This is also written for all the others out there who, as yet have been afraid to dream.  You don’t need to be afraid…you need to believe.

You can make a difference.  This trip will make a difference…

But be warned….it will ruin you.

It ruined me.

© 2015 Angie Knight- The Knightly News. All rights reserved.


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