While looking in my files at home, searching for a document, I found a surprise. No, it wasn’t a check I had forgotten to cash, a letter I had forgotten to open, or a bill I had forgotten to pay (although, bills do abound in that file.) Actually, what I found was liken to something unopened, or uncashed; for it was something that had never been completed. It was totally unused.
As it fell from the file marked “Important Documents” I picked it up from the floor and held it in my hand. My mind wandered to all the dreams, all the excitement, that led to me first holding it. I remember the day I first made preparations to pick it up. My mother went with me. We made a day of it, shopping, lunch, and then this.
My mom fussed, which is what she did well. She was worried about me. Why would I do something this crazy? Had I been brainwashed? What would become of her if something happened to me? On and on. I kept my smile on because I was so happy and hopeful for the future. Mother loved me so much and oh, how I miss her, fussing and all. As I thought this thought, I held it tighter as I remembered that happy day in May of 2006, and wished she were still here with me.
This small little item, about the size of a pack of cigarettes, (that I used to buy years ago) was going to be the representation of the newness of who I had become back in the 2000s. This would be proof positive that the shyness and fear were gone. Every chain was broken. I was a new creation in Christ. I could do all things through Him. Nothing was impossible that He was calling me to do. I was a fearless warrior in the Army of the Lord. I was ready to go into all the world and preach the Gospel.
I walked into the photo booth while my mom sat on a bench outside. I smiled and the camera flashed. It was done. I would now receive the passport that was my ticket to all the mission trips I was about to embark on. First, my plans were to go to the simplest place to go if you wanted to go into all the world, (without going too far) MEXICO. My church went there often. All that was keeping me from going with them was a passport.
Next, I planned to go to the country far across the sea, India. The place I knew God had called me to. I dreamed of all I was going to do there for God and couldn’t wait for the journey to begin (despite my mother telling me if I got on a plane it would kill her.) Funny, she didn’t say it would kill me, just her. All the memories this little blue passport brought to mind this morning!
I opened the passport to look inside. I stared at the picture of the younger me, on fire for God, full of hope, full of dreams. I looked at the date, May 6th, 2006. I looked at the “expiration date,” May 6th, 2016. A year ago! It was expired and I didn’t even know! Worse than that, as I flipped through 24 unstamped pages, it became real to me that I had never used it. I, of course, knew this. I haven’t been to another country on a plane, or even on a boat. I think I would remember. But it was as if at that moment, all those dreams I had years ago were officially dashed into a million pieces, as I held the unused, empty, and expired passport in my hand.
My mind wandered to what had happened. Why had I not gone into all the world? I thought of the trip to Mexico that I had looked forward to for so long. I was told only a limited number were able to go. I wasn’t included in the limited number. Within the next couple of years, my church stopped going to Mexico altogether. Seems I missed the boat, or actually, the van.
And India. I was once told by some a trip for me was in the planning stages. I remember being given a book about India. (I still cherish it.) I studied it from cover to cover. Every week I would pick a different India location to pray for specifically. I would share a little information about the location and make a request in the church bulletin for the entire congregation to pray as well. Time and chance happen to us all and alas, the India trip that was in the planning stages never came to fruition for me.
With that thought, I sighed, ran my fingers across the cover of the passport, and tucked it back safely in the file. As I did the folder behind the “Important Document” one caught my attention. “CHURCH STUFF” Curious as to what the big brown envelope sticking out the top was. I looked. Inside were pictures from Native Missions Church India. There were pictures of a table with Bibles and books on it. There was the letter, I had forgotten. thanking me for sending them. I looked further inside and looked at letters and cards from Africa, other places in India, Australia, and Iraq. These letters were to thank me for a devotional, a poem, or something on my website that had especially touched them.
Later in the day I checked on my site and saw the list of recent hits. South Africa, Thailand, Canada, Australia, Italy, Israel, Singapore, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and of course state after state here. Even though I already was familiar with the hit counter showing me this information, suddenly God showed me afresh, as if for the first time, how my words (which contain a whole lot of HIS WORD) continue to reach all the world.
Even if 50 is the new 40 and 60 is the new 50, I know as my time here grows closer to expiring, I most likely will never physically travel to any of the places of my missionary dreams. But I am still relevant and usable by God. I am going in my own way, fulfilling the Great Commission
This morning as I thought of dashed dreams, God Himself chose to reveal my relevance to Him, lest I should forget. I am not forgotten, unopened, or uncashed. God paid a high price for me and is using me to fulfill His purpose. I am complete in Him.
Mark 16:15 - And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.