God’s Goodness

So far, my time in Cambodia has surprised me.  I wasn’t prepared to do what God has me doing here.  Going into this trip, I knew I wanted to work against the problem of sex trafficking.  Once I got here, I slowly came to the realization that this looked completely different than what I had expected—even though I tried to lay down my expectations before coming.  Honestly, I had a lot of disappointment building in me that could at any moment turn into rotten bitterness.  I’m teaching English—this wasn’t what I had imagined.  I have always shied away from working in a school setting—I’m not sure why, except I’m impatient and kids don’t need another impatient adult in their lives.
Before this trip I had two choices that I felt God drawing me to—India: working in prevention teaching English classes and other skills to girls so they have less of a chance of being trafficked OR Cambodia: work with victims and survivors who have actually experienced the abuse specifically related to sex-trafficking.  I knew God wanted me at one of these.  I chose Cambodia—my heart was so drawn to the work that happened AFTER the fact, the rehabilitation piece if you will.  I thought my schooling in social work was preparing me for this type of work.  So, I’m here in Cambodia and what am I doing? I’m teaching English—ha. 

Ah, God—why did you send me here?  How did my plans get changed so much?
Yes, MY plans—that’s exactly what it was.  I had my plans and God had His.  As I came to the realization that my time here was looking much different than I anticipated, I saw my two options right in front of me—I could have bitterness towards a lot of different people, including God OR I could choose to believe that God is good. 
God has spent this entire week showing me just how good He is—I have been praising Him and proclaiming His goodness all week long—its been sweet.  Now I see He was preparing me for this moment—I had to choose.
Honestly, I know in every part of my being that God is good—I never could choose otherwise.  Once I chose that, God graciously began pouring out His peace and encouragement on me.  He said:
“I planned to send you here all along.  I changed plans SO THAT you would end up here.  I have better plans than you have for yourself.  I want good things for you—I will not harm you.  Know that you must trust me and choose to say I am good.  You will have to face even more difficult and challenging things than this—so take heart and have faith.  Don’t be bitter towards anyone or anything.  I was the one that chose this for you.”
After all of that, one of the girls at the center came and sat down next to me and says, “I love God.”  Ha, I smiled at her and said, “Me too.”  She had no idea what God had just done and said to me—but I love how God put her right there, right then.  She asked me if I would be her sister.  I told her I already was her sister! Her face just lit up and she held me tight.
Who am I to say that I would be more effective for God anywhere else besides where He has put me?  When I think about this girl, all the girls in my class, all of the nights spent in the city praying against sex-trafficking—who am I to say that I am in the wrong place?  God put me here!  And He is working in ways beyond what I would have imagined—I have seen it. 
So to all of you who have partnered with me in this journey—thank you for your support.  I know this might not have been what you expected either.  But please have peace in your hearts as well that God is good and he has placed me right where He intended to all along.  Thank you for all of your support, prayers and encouragement.  You bless me beyond what I could ever ask for. 

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