Chad: A Journal Ready for the Shelf

I’ve been putting off sharing this news for about three weeks. While I wanted to wait to think through my words, I think the waiting has turned into shrinking. I’ve been shrinking back into the dark because I am perpetually wrestling with a fear of man. All of that is to say,

my trip to Chad in the fall has been suspended until further notice.

The suspension of the trip is nothing more than a physical manifestation of God’s faithfulness. His faithfulness is far beyond my human comprehension and definition of the word ‘faithfulness,’ but I know and believe in my spirit that he is- the I AM- he is faithful (Philippians 1:6 & 1 Thessalonians 5:24).  Ironically enough, acknowledging this brings peace beyond understanding and a sense of freedom that I can’t explain. It rests deeply within me, and when my circumstances tell me that I should be feeling otherwise, it holds fast.

The extraordinarily beautiful thing about all of this is that Jesus already knew this would happen. He went before me, and he hemmed me in from behind (Psalm 139:5). When I spent hours in grief and frustration at the change of plans, he didn’t shy away. He entered in my mess, and patiently sat with me while I processed. He encouraged me to pray and worship, and I did because regardless of what he takes away, he deserves nothing less. Regardless of what he takes away, he still withholds no good thing from me (Psalm 84:11), and I believe that wholeheartedly. Through my time preparing for Chad, he gave me eternal gifts that I would have never received otherwise if I had not been stepping out to go. He revealed to me that he has created a special place in my heart to serve Muslim women. He showed me that regardless of my fears and the lies that I hear, he will give me the faith to believe that he wants to fulfill my dreams, and he will provide the courage to work with him to make them come true, even if they don’t look like what I had initially imagined. With utmost humility and grace, he showed me that the church wants to support their church—I need to only ask, and people will fight for me, pray for me, and believe for me when I struggle to believe in myself.

Still, I’m praying for the ‘what now?’ I feel like every question at this point in time can be answered with a ‘maybe.’ And while I still fight to believe it wholeheartedly, I know that ‘maybe’ will suffice because Jesus is enough. He is the only certain thing, and I pray for the strength to cling to him (Psalm 61:2 & Hebrews 13:8). I pray for the grace to run into this limbo season of life, waving open hands while simultaneously excited and terrified for the immeasurably more that has been promised to come (Ephesians 3:20).

From my spirit flows a deep gratitude for everyone who was willing to support me & who encouraged me along the way. Thank you for being a part of an extraordinary lesson that I learned. There was not a day that passed by that ‘wow’ didn’t escape my lips.

Ma salaamah, In peace,

Kati Rae

“ You can’t test courage cautiously, so I ran hard and waved my arms hard, happy. ”

—    Annie Dillard, An American Childhood
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