It’s something I’m noticing more and more about how God uses me: He uses my life to connect the dots.
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Monkeys watched us from their bamboo scaffolding viewpoints. A small group of friends were following me as I directed us through the system of narrow dirt streets. I knew this place but I had never been there before.
I had this dream every night for several weeks. There were three things that stood out: 1. It was asia. 2. My friend Phil was in the group. 3. I was supposed to go there.
A few weeks later I saw “Beyond Borders,” a movie set in several refugee camps. Cut to an asian jungle scene. My heart stopped and my whole body froze. It was the village from my dream. Cambodia!
I dove into research about the country, people, language, history and the plight of her refugees. I randomly started meeting Cambodian people literally everywhere in my city. A restaurant waitress. A grocery checker. A salon team. A new lady at my church. I began practicing Khmer phrases with all the Cambodian people I was meeting. And I set my heart to go!
Opportunity in Cambodia #1: A missionary serving in Cambodia came to our church and I went to a luncheon afterwards and asked him, “Can I come and serve your ministry?” His answer, “No.”
Opportunity in Cambodia #2: One of my mentors invited me to join her on a women’s trip to Cambodia. I prayed and considered it and felt I wasn’t supposed to go.
I called my dad and shared my confusion. His wise suggestion: Maybe it’s not Cambodia, but refugees that God was putting on my heart. He connected me with a family friend who was working with refugees on the Thai-Burmese border.
Opportunity NOT in Cambodia: One email to him and it was arranged: My husband and I were going to Thailand.
In February of 2007, eight of us (yes, including Phil) spent three weeks in on the Thai-Burmese border (plus a couple of hours in Burma) working with refugees and orphans. We had favor. We saw things very few people see. We heard the stories of people who survived being hunted like dogs. It was an incredible three weeks. When we left, the door was wide open for us to return for as long as we wanted. Maybe God was calling us to Thailand full-time?!!
We flew back to the US. We shared with our church and friends about the trip. And then, the fire that had been burning in my heart, disappeared. Gone.
It left me questioning what was wrong with me. Why had I been so crazy passionate? Why was that passion suddenly gone? Had I mis-heared God? Was I a flake? Or was I a fake? What had this Cambodia / Thailand thing been all about??
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Some months later I learned something incredible: The Cambodian scenes in “Beyond Borders” had been shot on the Thai-Burmese border… in the region where we had worked! Those images from my dream were not Cambodia… they were the exact region of Thailand where we ended up. Yep. Our Father God had given me a merciful, loving confirmation of His work in my heart. The dream had been from Him. The trip had been from Him. The reason for it all? Time would reveal.
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God used my life to connect the dots for someone else’s life.
One of my best friends in the whole world was on that trip to Thailand with us. Guess what? She now lives in Thailand, teaching at the orphanage school we visited all those years ago.
Connect the dots. God gave me a dream about a country I didn’t know. He knew that I am prone to acting on crazy ideas. He knew that I would get to that country. He knew that my friend would come too. He used me to connect the dots: Thailand and her life.
This week, a friend of my friend is going to Thailand to work at the orphanage too. Connect the dots.
Like I said: She doesn’t know it, but I’m the reason she is going on the adventure of a lifetime. She’s going to Thailand because I said yes to a fire God put in my heart six years ago.
Now I have no question why the fire in my heart disappeared when we returned home. My role in that part of God’s plan was over.
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– Sometimes crazy dreams are from God.
– Sometimes being passionate about something may only be for a season.
– Sometimes God uses us to connect the dots of other lives.
If I could give some wise advice to my younger-self, I would say: Don’t be confused. Don’t worry. It’s not always about you and your life calling. You asked God to use you. And He will. Just not how you expected.
We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. (Proverbs 16:9)