Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hard Changes

I guess my Operation Christmas Child life is really no different than all of life.  There's good and there's bad and sometimes it's hard to tell which is which.

There have been some crazy good things happening lately--an unprecedented number of new applications and amazing numbers of shoebox items for our 2016 packing party already safely in our storage container.

Just in the past few days one of our team members scored 945 beanie babies on an online sale site and was able to purchase them for the low cost of 3/$1.00.   Yesterday I ordered 180 spools of rope with 1200 ft. on each spool--that's a lot of miles of rope to be made into jump ropes.  And yesterday afternoon I got a delivery of 2,000 plastic cups.  Yes, great things happening.

But, then, right on the heels of last Thursday's news of our longtime Church Relations Coordinator leaving the team I got the news early this morning that my Prayer Team Coordinator feels God's calling her to leave the team also.  This wasn't totally unexpected, but the finality of the news was still a blow.

I got off that call, did an upper body workout in the middle of some tears, and loaded all the cups into my car to take them to the storage container.  When I opened the storage container I forgot we'd left heavy boxes of erasers right in front of the door the last time we were in there because it was cold and we didn't want to deal with them.  Now, in my efforts to move them I tripped, fell and slammed my knee and hand hard on the floor.  I sat and cried for about thirty seconds and then decided that was enough.

Getting to work, I managed to get things moved around, carried the cartons from the car and got them stowed in the back of the container.  Then things got comical when I tried to load 18 empty paper cartons in my car.  I wanted to get them out of the container and take them home to use for storing the donation of beanie babies.  The problem was that it was crazy windy.  I foolishly left the side door of my minivan open so when I put those empty cartons in the back of the car, three of them blew out the side of the car sending me on a chase down the driveway after them.   Yeah, it was just a little inconvenience but sometimes you're just over it, ya know?

I came home and sat for a few moments to regroup before heading out for an afternoon volunteer stint at our local mission.  As I rocked and ate my yogurt God started convicting me of my attitude.  I'd progressed from discouragement to anger.  So I confessed to God and also to a sister in Christ as I happened to be answering an email from her about another matter.  I asked her to pray for me, then I shut down my computer and headed out.  After volunteering I met with my mentor and she prayed for me also.

By the time I got home I realized my anger had dissipated.  Praise God for that answered prayer.  The return email from my sister in Christ sent me a great assurance from Isaiah 43:18,19 "Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past.  Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it?  I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert."  What a great word!

Tonight we had our first OCC team meeting for 2016.  As usual, there were quite a few team members who couldn't attend but the eight of us who were there had a blessed time.  I sense God is going to do a new thing this year.

Together we came to unity and set a goal of 51,500 shoeboxes for this year, by God's grace.

Good.  Bad.  Blessed.  Challenging.  Hard changes will give way to a roadway in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

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