On our first week back at church here in Adelaide, one of the ‘greeters’ at the door recoiled at the idea of taking our baby to Tanzania. (I was just over 38 weeks pregnant at the time. Elliot was born 4 days later.) After her initial shock, this lady said, ‘Oh, you’re very brave.’ That’s a pretty common response. The irony is, of course, that I don’t feel brave at all. I’m afraid.
Elliot’s birth didn’t go according to plan. After several hours of labour it became clear that the intervention-free, natural delivery we’d wanted was not possible. At that point, countless medical personnel sprang into action so that Elliot was delivered by caesarean. But this is the best sort of being out of control, the kind where there are still others to take care of you, and everyone ends up safe and healthy at the end. Where you can say, ‘I knew God’s care of me through the outstanding Australian healthcare system.’
The other sort of ‘out of control’ is the one where people don’t end up safe or healthy at the end. It’s the experience of many Tanzanian women and part of what motivates us to be part of working for wholeness there. It’s one that, for all the advantages afforded us by being westerners and being looked after by CMS, we will expose ourselves (and our son) to as we move to Tanzania.
It was scary enough being out of control in Australia; the idea of being out of control in Tanzania is terrifying. And so we have a choice, the same one we’ve been blogging about for the past little while. We need to move from fear to faith.
Not the kind of faith that trusts that God will always provide the healing or safety, but the kind of faith that trusts that he continues to be good, that he does love us and care for us, that brokenness grieves him too. I’ll be ‘thinking out loud’ on this over the next little while in a series of blog posts on risk.
How can I resist my fear?
What practical steps of faith can I take?
In this series:
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.