It was five years ago that I ran through the flag tunnel in South Korea and entered the Logos Hope ship for the first time. My heart was beating fast and my mouth was dry. I carried a suitcase full of clothes and pictures of the people I would miss. I also carried with me many dreams and things I wanted to achieve in those two years—professional dreams, sentimental dreams, material dreams—all of which came from the desires of my heart.
I thought I would go back to Chile after my two-year commitment and work there for the rest of my life. I thought I would stay single, as all the missionaries from my church were single. I thought by the age of thirty I would have bought a house. I am writing this five years later, married, living in Brazil, renting a house and preparing ports for the visit of the ship. Not missing many of the people I thought I would miss, and missing some others I never thought I would miss.
I look back and realise that many things did not go my way. In some cases, I see that my dreams were wrong and selfish. In others, I realise they were too small! But no doubt, God has been leading me along the whole way.
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” – Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV)
I am glad I didn’t follow my heart, as some people said I should. Still today, sometimes, when my family and friends back home see the way God has led me in life they ask: “But are you happy?”
There are happy days and sad days, most of them are happy and full of joy and fulfilment. But even if they weren’t, I want my joy to come from the fact I am doing His will and giving glory to His name. My happiness will be on that day that I see Him face to face and He will welcome me to His glory.
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” – Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NIV)
Jesus, help me to have your dreams and not mine, as yours are far greater than mine. I realise my heart is deceitful and full of sentiments that sometimes lead me astray. Help me keep it clean and fill it every day with You. Teach me to be content with what I have and not compare with others. To know that if I don’t have it is because I don’t need it. I want to stop following my dreams and follow you, Jesus.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NIV)