I think I really needed to vent as a way to process my emotions. And my stress. This is a really big deal. I think that over the past few weeks/months I've minimized my fear and my general excitement about heading back to Iraq.
I am excited to see what the future holds in Kurdistan and for the Kurds. I am excited to see what the future holds for my Kurds. I am excited to see what the future holds for my family. I am excited to see what the future holds for me. I am excited because I believe that God is using this experience of raising funds and returning to Iraq to create this future that I feel so eager to see.
I have minimized my excitement out of fear. I am afraid that this won't happen; that Angie and I will be sitting at home on March 10 rather than training in CA. I am afraid that if I express my joy in the future, I will seem pathetic when it doesn't happen; that people with look at me with pity and as a fool.
In turn, I have tried to minimize my fear. I say that everything will be alright and that I'm not worried and that I'll be okay.
But my fear is well-founded. This is impractical, it is silly to believe that God can/will make a way in this. It is foolishness. My history seems to suggest something else. It's a big deal for me to move forward in spite of my fear and to express my joy in the future God has for me. It is important for me to be honest.
I have said that we are created by God to have emotions for a reason. Our desires lead us to God and we should never disregard our desires, but when it comes time to put my money where my mouth is, it's a little harder.
But, man, my heart wells with joy to think of what God is doing with and for the Kurds. I feel honored to have been given a chance to know this people group. I have been blessed by God through this people without a land to call their own and I am out of my mind with impatience waiting to see them again.
My good friend, Joan, sent me this when I asked her to read my post about my broken heart:
"i don't think you shared too much. i am glad to know where your heart is.
the only thing i know is what He told me several years ago:
"all i am asking you to do is believe Me NO MATTER WHAT."
...no matter what people say...no matter how circumstances look...
no matter what your past experience would tell you to believe...
and the greater issue is not Iraq...it's your heart that He's after the most.
I don't know what healing your heart will look like, but i will bet my life
He'll do it. And going to iraq will be icing on the cake."
She's right, of course. She usually is about things of this nature.
Over the past few days, Angie and I have had the opportunity to share our vision for the future work in Iraq and my past experiences there. We've shown the 60 Minutes clip each time. In it, Nechirvan Barzani, Prime Minister of the Kurdish Regional Government, is asked about air travel to Kurdistan. The interviewer says something like, "Do you see an American airline with direct flights to Kurdistan in the near future?"
And he smiles a little smile. And he looks like I feel; full of hope and childish excitement. Like anything is possible and the future can only be amazing. There's a look in his eyes that gives me goosebumps when I watch it and he says, "Why not? Yeah, why not?"
If you ask me how I decided to go to Iraq the first time, I'll tell you a lengthy story which involves the usual quote, "I didn't have a heart for any people, i had a heart for a type of service." The second half of that is still true, I do have a heart for a certain type of work. Now, though, I have a heart for a people. I fell in love with the Kurds, of all people. A people without a home. A people persecuted throughout their history. A people with no friends but the mountains, as they say, but a people with the potential for a glorious future and big dreams.
Like the president of Sulemania University says at the end of the clip, "Well, sometimes dreams come true. I hope my dream will come true. Will be a reality. Why not?"