That humbling place where people give

Uganda beads jewelry

The truth is, I didn’t want to ask for help.

The truth is, I will happily give to causes I believe in, but when I think of fundraising for myself I think ick. I think of begging, I think of making my friends and family uncomfortable. I want to stay far away.

And so when we decide I’ll go on this trip, I decide to fund it myself. Friends offer to help, to devote their tithe to my trip expenses, and I say I need to think about it. I almost say no.

Then we have some expenses pop up and it’s just the push I need to see the thing I didn’t want to see, to feel the holy nudge I needed to get there.

Let them help you, He whispers. Let them be involved. There’s more to it than your pride is letting you see.

* * *

When the first jewelry orders come in, a couple of them have a few extra dollars tacked on, and it makes the tears well up. Because I realize, the people ordering don’t just love the jewelry. They are people who love me. And maybe the little bit extra is to pay postage or to make an even number but the Spirit whispers, you know better.

Then, a couple larger donations come unexpected, and I see what it is. They’re saying something I have trouble saying to myself.

We believe in you, they say. We are proud of you and we believe in what you’re doing and you’re worthy of this work.

And the tears flow because it’s humbling and uplifting all at once, it’s the Spirit and truth together, and there’s something about bending low and asking for help that does this to you. It opens your heart and when others open theirs to pour into you, all you can do is accept, accept, accept.

* * *

It feels too big for me. I’ve never been a Compassion blogger; I don’t know what they tell the World Vision writers when they go overseas. That’s just the first thing.

So much more than that are the women. The stories I’ll tell. The heartbreak and the tales of overcoming. The absolute depths, deeper than I’ve seen yet (I just know it) and the human spirit’s rise and the Holy Spirit’s unmistakable hand in making all things new. How can my words even touch those lives? How could I ever capture that dignity and strength and holy fight? How can I show you what it’s like for these women, to capture their pain and hope and redemption in 1,000 words or less?

It’s going to be impossible.

From experience, though, I know that impossible is exactly where I need to be. Because then, it’s not about my ability at all. It’s not about my words or my interviews. It won’t be my own strength that sustains me, and it won’t be my words that get through to anyone. And that’s a huge relief. When I think of myself simply as an instrument of His peace, a pen pouring out His words, a vehicle for the stories he’s already telling, then I don’t need to do everything right or puff myself up for the Bigness of it all. I simply need to say ‘yes.’

And then so many of you have said ‘yes’ with me. Your acceptance helps me accept myself, but it also points to something Bigger. And we’re doing that together. Thank you thank you thank you.


* * *

To learn more about our trip, read Writing the Stories of Uganda or the Mercy for Mamas post.

I’m more than halfway to my fundraising goal, and I’ve even sold out of some pieces, but I still have a little way to go. Take a look at the jewelry available, or click the “donate” button up there on my sidebar to make a direct donation to fund my part of the trip. Anything received over and above the trip expenses will be donated directly to Mercy for Mamas to purchase mama kits.


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2 comments on “That humbling place where people give

  1. HopefulLeigh says:

    Love this, Kim! Looking forward to seeing what all unfolds during your time in Uganda.

  2. Caris Adel says:

    More than halfway already? awesomeness!!!! I can’t wait to read the stories you have to tell. It’ll be like lots of little memoirs, my favorite 🙂