balancing

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For awhile, I held on with white knuckles, trying to keep it all together.

Every Friday, I would lay my hands open, and give it back to God.

Then Monday, I would pick it up again.

It’s not our usual trip.

Three teams from our own church going into remote Fijian villages that it takes three days to travel to. A complex budget that looks like a calculus equation. A layered leadership hierarchy that somehow I found myself at the top of — in two different roles at the same time that are difficult to explain.

But that’s not why I was so determined to keep it from falling apart.

A year and a half ago, my role in missions was nothing but a seed God planted in my mind. I watered it and cared for it and it sprouted into my first trip ever.

Now the people who I helped lead are leading others. It’s blossomed from that seed into a vine that has grown beyond our ability to prune it. And I stand back in awe at all the people who came together to make it happen.

We fought for so many of our team members to stick with it. Our original number dropped, then stabilized then threatened to drop again. We argued and coached and coaxed. We worked nights and weekends. We tossed out texts and emails like candy. We crunched numbers as if we liked math. After all that, I still look back at my role and see the flaws in my leadership, like cracks running through cement.

Tomorrow, they leave without me. As of 11 a.m., I will have outgrown my usefulness. They will take the journey with other capable, and most likely, better, leaders.

It’s funny, after I calculated and recalculated the fundraising numbers. After I twisted them and looked at them in different lights. After we finally came up with the answer we were waiting for, I didn’t feel excitement or relief. It was like I was too tired to care about what undoubtedly was a miracle.

Instead, I set down my pen and moved onto the next task.

People ask me why I am still doing it. This side of missions isn’t my calling anymore. I now work on the other side in a broader context. I tend to blame others for roping me back in, but the truth is, I couldn’t let it go with no one else to step in. I cared too much. I wanted this team to see the change that I saw on my first trip — in me and in others.

Maybe we bit off more than we could chew. Maybe us plus them doesn’t equal the program we were striving for. But when we factor God into the equation, it balances.

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