Last week was interesting to say the least. There was weird stuff, hopeful stuff and hurtful stuff all at the same time. My hope is that these stories and lessons learned will be an encouragement to you.
The week started out as a normal week in the let them LOL office. The energy is exciting and the office is always busy as we are preparing for our upcoming Water Gala. Then Wednesday hit. I received a call from one of our Sierra Leone staff that someone had put a spell on me. “What did you say?” was my response. Yes, someone had put a spell on me, but it wasn’t a “bad” spell, it was one that tries to control the heart of the person. However, all our Sierra Leone staff was going to fast and pray for three days for me. Oh, thanks, now I feel much better. It’s not a bad spell but you are all going to fast and pray for three days? After we hung up, I was definitely feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed by this whole idea. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much Wednesday night.
Thursday morning I woke up thinking about the whole thing. I wondered, who do I even talk to about something like this? Then I remembered that Bob Goff, the author of Love Does (one of my favorite books) had experience with this kind of stuff as a result of the work he is doing in Uganda. In the back of Love Does, Bob left his phone number in case a reader wanted to call him. I remembered this but thought to myself: “he probably has someone answering it for him, what’s the point?” I changed my mind though and opened up the book and dialed the number. “Bob Goff here” was what I heard. I put my shock aside and went right to explaining everything, as I didn’t want to take up too much of his time. He said a lot of encouraging things and I will share the key takeaways at the end of the post.
Literally 15 minutes after I hung up with Bob, I get another call from our Sierra Leone staff. This time someone there was threatening our program. They didn’t have ground to stand on, but both our US and Sierra Leone teams were upset. We were basically being bullied so someone could get what they wanted. It took a couple of days, but the whole situation calmed down and was resolved. By the end of the week, we were all really worn out.
Here are a few things that I learned this week:
1. Fear is contagious, but so is hope. (Bob Goff) This is the phrase from my conversation with Bob that sticks out the most for me. Once one of our Sierra Leone staff started freaking out about the whole spell thing, then the whole team there was freaking out and then I was. When you face fear, you have a choice about how much power to give it. If you let it overwhelm you, it will spread to others. In the same way, when you allow yourself to be filled with hope that is contagious too. I want to be a HOPE spreader and a fear stopper! Don’t you?
2. Be careful who you give the microphone to in your life. (Bob Goff) Yep. I often struggle with this one. While other’s input in our lives is important, we always need to watch how much influence that has over us. I was reminded on Sunday during a song at church: “no power in hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand.” It is important to seek advice, but always weigh the advice against who you are because of WHOSE you are.
3. Perseverance. We have been so excited to be able to share so many of the amazing stories of all God is doing through let them LOL. But what most people don’t see is the weeks like these. The weeks where we are left completely empty and exhausted. Through prayer and help from God, we press on through the struggles and challenges. Someone once said “I didn’t say it would be easy, but it will be worth it.”
I’m pretty sure this week wasn’t filled with spells for you, but I’m sure many of you faced struggles and trials. What’s one thing you do when you face difficulty?