I was once told “The greatest vocation is where your greatest joy meets the world’s deepest sorrow.” The search for my vocation has been and continues to be a long, unpredictable journey. A big part that has shaped what I want to do are my experiences in Burma, Cambodia, and now, Uganda. Burma was where I was introduced to the developing world. I first traveled there with my home church when I was fifteen. We spent lots of time with orphans that our church sponsored and cared for and I simply fell in love with them. It was the first time I had stepped outside of my home bubble, the first time I had been surrounded by poverty, the first time I put real faces and relationships to the people in that world.
This was the beginning of what I like to call my blessed burden.
After that experience I couldn’t look at the world the same way. I experienced a similar culture shock as the culture shock I’m experiencing now as I’m adjusting back from Uganda. Returning from Uganda has refreshed this “burden.” Simple everyday experiences bring me back to my children and friends in Burma, to the beggars in Cambodia, to the people in IDP camps in Uganda.
I often think I’m crazy because I start thinking in terms of people in the developing world and how my actions would be interpreted by them, but more importantly how my actions would affect them. There aren’t a whole lot of people that understand it. (i.e. For instance, I think to myself “If I get this cute $25 skirt, that money could be spent on 50 meals for kids in Burma. “Megan, if you spend less time on Facebook and Netflix, the black holes of your time, and more time working on inVisible Hearts fundraising you can offer your kiddies much more than what you’re offering now.”)
It is also when I deny these daily realizations that I fall into hypocrisy and I am burdened with frustration. How can I claim love for my kids, for the people in the developing world, when I don’t always choose to make that sacrifice.
I think one of the greatest sacrifices one can make is one’s life. Uganda has played a large part in solidifying what I have been thinking for a while now, that is, wanting to dedicate my life to the poor.
As much as the people I’ve met weigh on my mind, I feel it has been a blessed burden because I find much joy in the “sacrifice.” I have found my vocation.