Topic: Making Decisions
My divine calling is to stand up for what I believe. As I understand it, this is the divine calling for everyone. This is what requires me to sometimes sacrifice my time or money. That's what I was taught, ironically in the Southern Baptist Convention, which ultimately became what I was required to stand against. They taught me!!
Even when it went against what an institution insisted was "God's will" for me--controlling what I say--the calling, as I understood it, was one that I had to exercise.
Another vital belief--the priesthood of every believer--mixed with it to make my difficult decision to leave the work I loved, the work into which I had poured my very soul, knowing that somehow my true soul would survive.
The pain of being a "living sacrifice" sometimes continues. I still miss old friends I lost when I stayed true to the calling that ranked higher than going somewhere far away in service to God and humanity.
This week, my 9-year-old granddaughter couldn't sleep, so I got out the old photo albums of her dad's growing up years in the strange land where she has never been (but someday will likely go to visit with him). Some of those pictures, as always, tug at my heart when I see the smiling faces of people with whom I'd shared so much, people I no longer would even recognize nor be able to relate with the deepest integrity I once did.
My granddaughter asked: "Why did you ever go to Africa in the first place?" I was able to put it in simple, 9-year-old terms. And I think I successfully communicated what she could understand. Someday, when the time is right, she will understand just as well what brought us home.
A chunk of my life was cut out in 1988. The cutting really began in 1986, when my co-workers abandoned their own calling and betrayed a lot more people than just my family and I! In it's place, within me, is something amazing that could not have been sewn into the fabric of my soul had I remained "comfortable" with the patriarchs replacing God for me. It includes friends--some of you I've known for longer than I ever knew my missionary co-workers. It's new friends I would never have found, for I would not likely have ended up in this place, where new friends often receive my entire story and affirm it.
Nor would I have come full circle, arriving "at home" within a circle of Quakers today. Maybe I was kidnapped before birth.