I want to go back. Back to when I was serving God and others on a daily basis. Back when I would attend church every Wednesday as a Youth Leader, usually showing up 2 hours before service so I could greet the kids as they came in and practice for worship. Back when I would put myself in more situations to find out about missionaries who needed help. I want to go back to to Nicaragua. I want to go back to a place where my heart was set on serving God in missions. I just want to go back.
I WANT TO GO BACK TO APRIL 2015
It was April 2015 that I left for Nicaragua. The day after Easter, actually. I had never been on a plane, much less than another country, and I was scared.There is one thing that my closest friends know about me; I’m afraid of heights. I’ve come along way since then (in fact, I actually overcame that fear on this engagement session), but at the time, I would go into a cold sweat when I thought about being in a plane. I was also scared because Grace was four months pregnant with Rowan, and I did not want to leave her. The reason I want to go back, however, is because of the trust I had in God. I trusted God would be with my wife while I was gone, that He would bless the trip and bring about good in going to Nicaragua, and that He would protect us on the flight. I had even reasoned with myself that if the plane crashed, I would have died while answering God’s call. To serve others and make disciples of all Nations.
Here is one of my favorite photos during takeoff. This is the second plane we boarded, but the first time taking off! The other plane had engine failure. As if I wasn’t already nervous enough! The woman across the aisle saw that I was pretty spooked out, so she held my hand the entire way up. I had only known her for about an hour, and she showed more compassion and empathy in that moment than I believe most people will show in their lives.
I WANT TO GO BACK TO ROWAN’S BIRTH
There are a million things I wish I could have done different during Rowan’s birth. I wish I took video of the whole process. I wish I had allowed the tears that were in my eyes to fall when I first saw Grace holding him for the first time, telling him how much she loved him. I wish I would have been more prepared to comfort him. But among all of these wishes, I want to go back and remember the words Grace and I prayed as we waited to be taken to the delivery room. Every big moment, and even the small moments, were preceded with prayer. It was all we had, being in the scariest and most exciting times of our lives (so far). We were only married three months when Grace found out she was pregnant. All of our plans for traveling and experiencing new things were thrown out the window. Our gears switched from learning how to be husband and wife, to how to be parents. We’re still learning how to be husband and wife to each other, and I have learned I’m not as patient as I thought I was. After Rowan’s birth, I stopped being the husband I should be, because I put all of my focus on being a parent, rather than her provider.
I WANT TO GO BACK TO PRAYER
I guess, in all of this, it really leads up to wanting to get back to prayer. It’s something my wife do each day together, and we’re even training Rowan how to pray. The one thing I am missing, however, is praying in the still moments. I can’t tell you the last time I prayed on my own time, intentionally. For my friends, wife, and even the world. Sometimes I feel like the disciples asking Jesus, “Teach us how to pray.” Even though I was raised up in church my whole life, sometimes I just don’t know what to ask. Today, however, I do know what to pray.
“God, please take me back to when I trusted you most. Take me back as your disciple to tell the world of you. Take me back, because I want to go back.”