Saturday, November 13, 2010

Putting my jar of clay on display...

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us…”
(2 Corinthians 4:7)

I have sensed God prompting me to write this post for a while now. You see, I often hear from people things like, “Wow, you’re amazing”, “It takes a special person to do what you’re doing”, “I could never do that”, etc. The truth is, if I had read a couple of years ago about someone who was doing what I’m doing right now, I would have thought the same thing. Today however, I know differently. And so I sense God telling me that it is time for me to put my jar of clay on display, so to speak. To be transparent with my weaknesses and shortcomings so that you can see that my being here, doing what I’m doing is because of God alone.

As a teenager and into my 20’s I struggled with social anxiety disorder. Going out with a group of friends set my stomach in knots and just the thought of being in a situation where I might have to talk to people I didn’t know would send me into an outright anxiety attack. I refused to share my thoughts in a small group setting let alone stand up and speak in front of a group of people. My comfort zone didn’t extend much further than my front door, definitely no further than my own community, and the idea of traveling alone to a foreign country where I did not know anyone would have been out of the question. You may be thinking that obviously God has healed me from all of that and in many ways He has but I continue to be a homebody at heart and I still feel sick at the thought of meeting new people. It is only because of God that I am able to travel to all these different places, constantly surrounded by new people. It’s not easy for me but I have learned to step out in obedience and trust God to give me all I need.

There is something else I need to tell you… I have never had any desire to work with children with special needs. To be brutally honest, I have always felt extremely awkward and uncomfortable around children and adults with Down syndrome, etc. and would try my best to avoid having to interact with them. It’s not something I’m proud of but it’s a truth I feel I need to share. God began changing my heart the day I discovered Reece’s Rainbow and began learning about the plight of special needs orphans in Eastern Europe. The more I learned, the more my heart broke and I knew I had to do something. I wouldn’t say that I developed a true love for special needs kids but I saw the need and my heart’s cry became, “Here am I. Send me!” Since arriving here in Ukraine, all of that has changed. I have fallen head-over-heels in love with the special needs kids here, finally seeing them as the gifts from God that they truly are, and dreaming of the day when I will have a house full of special needs beauties of my own. Nevertheless, I want you to know that this did not come naturally for me and has only been a result of the power of God at work in me.

I hope that helps to set the record straight; I am not someone special. I am just an ordinary person, with plenty of flaws and failings, but I serve a mighty God who chooses to use ordinary people who are willing to step out in obedience and follow Him. So don’t put God in a box and tell Him what you are and are not capable of doing for Him. If He can use me, then He can use you too.


Lauren said...

Did you see on RR that Marlena has been committed by a family??!! Under "New Commitments".

Melissa said...

Andrea, wow! I would never have guessed any of what you have shared. God is so good and faithful to bring about what He has planned for us. Do you mind if I use this someday? I think alot about those who say to me, "I couldn't do that" too. I have found out I am capable of a whole lot more than I ever thought I might be, as long as I hold on to Abba's hand.

andrea said...

Yes, His power certainly is made perfect in our weaknesses... You (or anyone else) can feel free to use anything you might find on my blog - it's all just about being a voice for orphans and bringing glory to God.