Chapter Twenty Two:
“Sienna I thought you might be interested in something I found out today at church. It was my night to help with the youth, and we have a mission trip to the Sudan coming up, it’s only for a few weeks, but I was thinking about you when I learned of the trip.”
This was like a dream come true for Sienna, she had been praying about going on a missionary trip and this may be her chance. The Lord was once again opening doors for her, and she was more than thankful for that. Sienna knew the Lord was working in her life, and she owed him so much for that. She was going to share the gospel with others, the sheer excitement sent a chill down her, not a chill of fear though, but of joy.
“Thank you Meredith. I won’t be taking any classes over the summer, so I am going to sign up.”
“I was thinking about doing the same, it would be great to give to those who have so much less than we do, and more importantly to share God’s word with others who may not otherwise get to hear it.”
“I know, but in all the excitement we have to face the fact that there is danger as well, Sudan can be a dangerous place, but I feel like this is something I need to do.” Sienna told Meredith, trying to make sense of all that happened.
“I have thought about the dangers Sienna, and I have heard the stories, but I think we need to do this.”
Lord thank you for opening these doors for us. I do not know if this will happen or not, but if I am able to make this missionary trip let me do these people some good, and Lord let others see that this wheelchair does not preclude me from doing others good. I do not want to be judged by what I cannot do, but instead I want to be judged for what I can. I am thankful for what you have done for me Lord, and I want to continue to do good for others, but I want to be given that chance Lord. I want to be given the chance to make a difference, to show others what I can do. I do not deserve to be treated like a second class citizen, or to be treated any differently.
As Sienna turned her Bible to Philippians 2 she found the comfort she needed. She knew this was something she was supposed to do this was something the Lord wanted her to do. It was a beautiful thing being able to do for others because Christ had called her to do that. She was going to show others that you didn’t need two working legs to give back, all you needed was a lot of heart and that was certainly something Sienna had, and something Merdith had as well.
New International Version (NIV)
Imitating Christ’s Humility
2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death —
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Do Everything Without Grumbling
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[c] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
Timothy and Epaphroditus
19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. 23 I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. 24 And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon.
25 But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. 26 For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. 29 So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, 30 because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.
“I really hope that we are accepted into this, that we have a chance to serve as missionaries.” Sienna told Merdith.
“Sienna I think they need us, and I think this is an opportunity God has opened for us.”
“Truth is I am a little frightened, but I am more excited than anything. I guess my feelings are all jumbled into one.”
“I know exactly what you mean Sienna, I feel the same way.”
“I am glad I am not the only one feeling this way. I was starting to feel like I was a little nuts or paranoid.”
“You weren’t Sienna and if you were a little frightened, that’s only normal, especially after all that has happened to you.”
“For once I want to forget about what happened to me, and just get on with living.”
“Sienna that is always going to be a part of you, well maybe that’s the wrong word, but it’s always going to be there and it’s going to show others just how strong you are.”
“Meredith there are some things I do not want others to know about, some things that I went through that are private.”
“I know Sienna, and I am sorry. I am just saying you are an inspiration to your family, to me and to many others.”
“I don’t know about that, but thank you for saying that.”
“I only speak the truth Sienna, and you are an inspiration.”
“You’re welcome Sienna.”
Lord thank you for giving me this opportunity, thank you for opening the doors you have opened for me. I know I could not do any of this without you, and I believe you are calling me to be a missionary. I am so blessed by everything you have given me, and continue to give me. I could not be the person I am without you Lord, and without the people you have placed in my life.
Sienna knew the one her friends and loved one’s should be thanking was the Lord, and as followers of Christ that is exactly what they did. They thanked the Lord for the gifts they had been given daily and Sienna knew that was the most important thing. She was glad they appreciated her, but the Lord had to be at the center of their lives and she understood that. Chad understood her need to serve the Lord, and that made her want to marry him all the more, but the thought of marriage still scared her. She knew she had to let go of that fear, there were still so many things she had to let go of, and she wanted to be able to do that before she left for the Sudan, and her heart told her she was going to go.
I know Lord I need to let some of this go, before I go on this mission trip and I have a feeling I am going. I feel that you opened this door for me, and I thank you for that. I want to do everything in my power to forgive those who hurt me and move on with my life. I do not want to be defined by the dark things that have happened to me I don’t want them to hold that power over me, instead I just want to live my life, and live it for the Lord.
“Sienna you are a million miles away again.” Meredith said, gently tapping her best friends shoulder.
“Just amazed at everything that has changed, how God is working in our lives. I know I shouldn’t be, but for a while this was a dream I had nearly let die, I felt that because I was in a chair now I could not do others any good, but I know better than that. I know I can help others.”
“Amen Sienna I know you can too, we are going to do something great.”
“Things are different in the Sudan, I may not be so easily accepted, but I am praying that is a barrier we can cross when we get there.”
“Sienna once someone gets to know you, they can in no way think of you as someone who can’t, instead they will see someone who can. You are strong and don’t forget that.”
“I won’t Meredith, and I know my strength comes from the Lord. I will never forget that either. I am just going to have to work on letting things so, and truly forgiving those who hurt me, not just those who shot me, but before then as well.”
“If anyone can do that Sienna, I know you can, you are one of the most forgiving person I know.”
“Some things are a lot harder to forgive than others, some things are next to impossible to forgive.”
“I know what you are talking about Sienna and I am sorry you had to endure that, and I am sorry too that you felt you had to hide it from me for so long. I am your best friend no matter once, me knowing about what happened to you and Kelsea didn’t change that.”
“I know that now Sienna, but it was hard to talk about.”