About a gaze that saves

It is hot and stuffy. I protect myself from the sun under a wooden shelter with a roof covered with grass – gazebo. And I am watching the birds. This is how I spend my time with Jesus. It’s 2016. I don’t know yet that in the coming hours God will recalibrate my heart and Mozambique will become my home. I don’t know yet that I will be living here next year. It is too early to guess my future husband, whom I have already met. Nor do I know anything about Jo, who will be in our lives in three years. There is no promise yet. There is no fulfillment of it yet. It’s still too early to live in it. But there is Jesus, my constant one.

Earlier this year and the year before, God had foretold changes. But they didn’t come as an announcement. They came as an inconvenience. A disagreement with a life in which only I am important. And there was a desire. At first, with no shape, with no imaginations. A desire to live in such a relationship with Christ that no one can overlook it. That me myself will become invisible. That only He would be left. And so the dreams appeared, clearer and clearer. About to love other people.

Do you know the feeling when your heart is looking forward to the new which is to come? This excitement when God moves? This breath inside, because God reveals to us His dream about us? And legs that tremble because all of that is so different and impossible? It was so with me. And it was so when God first told me to go to Mozambique. And then, when He made me a home from Mozambique, although after three weeks of staying there, I returned to Poland. And when He announced that I would live there. But at that time, God did something else as well. He took all these promises and set them aside.

When you live an impossible life with Jesus, you walk on water. This is so. You feel like that. All the situations you find yourself in lead to this place. There is no ground to support you in case of a fall. All that’s left is to look into eyes of Jesus what keeps you afloat.

That is why God taught me to walk on the water by the shore. And not that I already walked on water there. There I walked up to my ankles. Then knee-deep. Later up to the waist. New challenges at a new height. Illogical thinking. Leaving security. First, I quit a job, moved to another city and worked for an organization that was educating and helping victims of human trafficking. Then three weeks in Mozambique and some new spaces in the heart and in my thinking. And the pain of sitting in one place. A cry for more of Him. Meetings without counting the minutes. Without restraint. And a promise of returning soon.

This is a point where it was impossible to go into the water up to the neck. This is the point where I had to walk on the water. Without job. Without money. With no plan. To the unknown country. To people whom loving turned out to be much more difficult later than at the beginning. That’s when God did something else. He took everything He promised me and set it aside.

I saw myself standing on the surface of the water. I saw Jesus, who was close enough to recognize His face, and far enough not to grab me if I began to sink. This is how I was. And He explained that none of the promises will come true on the way to that promise as we used to think – dream, vision, plan, action, evaluation, and all over again. The promises are fulfilled on the way to Jesus.

He said there was only one way I could stay afloat – by looking at Him. Gazing at Him. More than at what I want. More than at what He promised. More than at what is happening around you.

In the mission field, the excitement of the promise passes. It can become anything. Hardship. Toil. Loneliness. Disappointment. Hurt. Feeling of inadequacy. Feeling of not bringing a change. Until the senseless presence.

In the mission field, the excitement of the promise passes. It can become something even more perfect. The excitement of a promise being fulfilled. Despite hardship and toil. Despite loneliness. Disappointment and hurt. Despite the feeling of inadequacy. Despite own or someone else’s opinions about not bringing the change. Until permanent presence for the one reason only. Because Jesus.

It’s chilly. I am sitting on the couch at my parents’ house. In the next room, my husband puts Jo to sleep. It’s June 2021. We flew in from Mozambique two months ago. We live there. We love there. There we share a good news about Jesus. We are building houses for displaced people there. We help in treatment there. We dress up. We feed. There we rejoice and cry. There we are brave and we are often afraid. It is for us the best place in the world to be and sometimes we want to leave that place forever. And we will be back there soon. Because Jesus. The only constant one. More important than promises. More important than achievements. More important than an activity log. More important than what happens to us. The only one worth losing everything for.

I wrote this testimony for invitation of Wyjdź z łódki.

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