A slight freak out

I had a slight freak out this week.

Don't believe me? Just ask Jilian. Or Nicole. Or Donna. Or Joanna.

Yes, I unloaded it on all of them, because dragging four other people into your nuclear meltdown is just one form of "sharing the love." I'm sure they felt loved.

Anyway, back to my freak out. You know what caused it? Zika. Sometimes people who suffer with anxiety don't exactly make sense. I think this one could maybe be a tiny bit rational, though, so bear with me here while I explain.

I'm scheduled, paid and booked for a mission and learning trip to the Dominican Republic next month with 12 friends from our church. The DR holds such a special place in my heart after a team of us traveled there last summer, but I hadn't planned to return this year because I was pregnant. After our loss, I decided I needed a break from treatment and time to heal, so approximately two seconds after a miscarriage, I signed up for the trip (and by two seconds, I mean two days, which is basically the same thing in the middle of insane grief).

Might I just suggest that you not make big decisions when your heart is in shambles and your head doesn't know which way is up?

I didn't think it through. I didn't pray about it. I didn't consider Zika or what it could do to future fertility treatment plans. I just decided I needed an escape and "doing God's work" seemed like the way to go.

Maybe some other time I can blog about misguided motivations.

A plan for the future
In early May, Jake and I sat down with our doctor and talked through the options for the future and crafted a plan. I told her I was headed to the Dominican Republic in July and she factored that into the plan: I'd be tested not once, but twice upon my return -- once for the virus and once for immune response. Perfect!

There's just one slight problem here: The tests aren't perfect and it's not uncommon for them to come back with false positives.

Just typing that, I'm starting to get a knot in my stomach again. Maybe I'm not over this freak out yet.

Even so, after that appointment, I felt confident and peaceful about that plan. I felt God's hand in it, and I felt that my heart and mind were in the right place for the trip (read: motivations corrected). Then, last week, the Zika freak out.

Here's the reality, though: My doctor isn't worried, Santo Domingo isn't much of a mosquito habitat, and I have plenty of proper gear for protecting my skin. Plus, deet is pretty easy to come by (and probably won't kill me in a week). *Deep breaths*

'Common Hero'
This morning's sermon was part of a new series called "Common Hero." We're looking at the life of Peter and how a common fisherman became a disciple of Jesus Christ. From common man to Kingdom warrior who believed he could change the world (and he did). From common man to BFF of JESUS CHRIST. Let that sink in for a minute.

Good news: Jesus can use us too. We can be Peter! It's up to us to be willing. It's up to us to believe that Jesus can use us to change the world. It's up to us to see that the people around us are worth loving and taking a risk to share the Gospel. It's up to us to realize that a bunch of kids in the middle of a tough neighborhood in Santo Domingo are worth fighting for.

Could Zika happen to me? Technically, yes. Is it likely? No. Let's be rational here, Jenn.

Could loving on the kiddos and teachers at VBS in Santo Domingo change their lives? With Jesus, a resounding yes. Is it more likely to change mine? Of course. After all, my teammates and I aren't there to save anyone. We're just there to show our love and the love of Jesus Christ. Nothing more and nothing less. Those kids and teachers have so much to teach us too!

So, while I took a bit of a winding road to figure it out, I believe it is God's will for me to be in the Dominican Republic in July, and I trust Him to protect me from Zika.

I'm still going to pack pants, long-sleeved shirts, a mosquito net and plenty of deet, though. After all, God also gave me a brain.


"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand." -Isaiah 41:10


How could I resist returning to Santo Domingo? I mean, seriously.

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