Underage and Underqualified

I’ve never had much sympathy for Moses. I mean, he heard the voice of God commanding him, how did he even have it in him to ask for someone else to be provided in his place? But I realized recently I’m guilty of doing exactly the same thing–I just don’t say it to the burning bush. How many times have we seen someone in visible distress and looked around for someone else, desperately hoping they’ll take over? How many times have we used the excuse “it’s not my place”? Sometimes that excuse is legitimate, but I think it’s a lot less often than we have the courage to

I haven’t posted yet because I’ve had a really difficult time putting into words my experience in Africa. It’s hard to
explain the feeling of knowing you are simultaneously wonderfully valued by the people you are helping and at the same time incredibly unimportant to the larger cause. I know me coming to Africa has never been and will never be huge and important. And I’ve never needed it to be. Anyone could do the job that I’m doing. I’m so often bewildered that God has given my family the opportunity to fill in the gaps for those organizations and individuals who are actually qualified and lack only the people to assign jobs.

But it can be so hard. I know now what Moses was feeling (not that I’m anywhere close to Moses status) when he just wanted someone, anyone else to do what God told him to do. It hurt my heart to leave my loving Christian friends at my new school. Some days I would just fall on my knees and tell God I was so sorry that I was so unwilling to leave and beg it to not hurt so much. A couple days ago I had to face my worst irrational fear in the worst way. Anyone who knows me well knows that just talking about needles makes my knees feel weak and my head feel woozy. I don’t know what possessed me to say “okay” when Dr. Andrew told me he was going to teach me to draw blood (to test for HIV, malaria, and other common diseases) in the clinic lab. I think it’s the same thing that possessed me when I said “okay” to go to Uganda. Drawing blood really isn’t that difficult, it turns out. I just had to get over my mental stumbling block. I don’t mean to be preachy but I think that’s our problem a lot of the time. When God opens a door, I think we just have to jump through it and not worry our pretty little heads about it. He’ll take our fears away when the time is

Me drawing blood

7 replies
  1. julie Rae Oliver
    julie Rae Oliver says:

    Jessica Mae,
    you are all that and more. See, you didn’t know what you didn’t know and you couldn’t feel until you were in it!

  2. Kari Coppinger
    Kari Coppinger says:

    Wow! You inspire me and/or shame me, I’m not sure if one or both. “He’ll take away our fears when the time is right.” Going to be repeating that for a while.

    Thanks for writing. Praying about your 5 day trip, and all other experiences.

    I read yesterday or today about how God blesses his faithful workers for all their hard work and that none of what is done by them is wasted (Kari’s paraphrase of Eugene Peterson’s Message translation). So what you are doing in Uganda may or may not be “huge and important” (your words), but as your blog title references, it matters to “that one.”

  3. Kathleen Dillon
    Kathleen Dillon says:

    I am following your family’s adventures and your amazing journey. Thank you for the inspiration! Champe and Tom (and Griffin whom you have never met) send love to you all too!!!!


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