Beck Wattier

Looking Back

Nov
20

I just wanted to share this journal entry with you guys. This is from December 12, 2006. If you know my story, I decided over Christmas break in 2006 to take 30 days and search out the bible, journal and research, etc and find out what I really believed. At the end of the 30 days, if I wasnt convinced, hadnt found answers, I was determined to be done with God for good.

This story isnt really about me though. I wanted to share this because I wanted to say praise God. For his transforming love, for the fact that he never leaves us where we are but pursues us until we overcome by his love and grace. Praise God that our stories don’t stop with journal entries like this one, but are being lived out day by day as we are transformed into the image of Christ. Praise God for his grace. Let’s never think that we are too (Fill in the blank) for our lives to count. We are never too far from God that we cant go back. We are never too hurt to be healed. We are never too broken that he cant put us back together and use us to reflect his glory. I want my life to reflect his glory. So in sharing this, I hope you look past my story, but that through my story you are humbled and brought to a place of thanks and praise to a God that transforms.

December 12, 2006
“So this is day one. And just to be honest I feel really stupid right now. There is so much drama and really stupid stuff that has happened the last couple days, it makes me sad. Sometimes people are just so hard to understand, it makes me want to give up on relationships of any kind. It seems just when I get to the point of really trusting people, they always let me down, and it hurts more and more every time. 

I have like a hundred thoughts going through my mind right now. It’s insane. I want to write a book- hence the journal. There are so many things that I want to tell people, but sometimes I think that they will never understand. But, even more than wanting to write a book, I want to figure out why I’m here, what my goal for this life is. This last year I’ve been living life without a purpose- with no plan and no meaning. And it’s been one of the most crazy, confusing years of my life.

I think my main problem is that I have gotten away from God. Not just gotten away, but I’ve been running away. And every time God tries to say something, every time he tries to find me again, I start running all over. My relationship with God today is completely screwed up. It’s like a friendship that has gone bad, but not just any friendship- THE friendship. The one thing that gives my life meaning and purpose. I blame God for so many things and sometimes when all I want is some reassurance that I’m not alone, those are the times that he’s completely silent. 

For the past year I’ve been full of resentment and anger and blame. I thought that by ignoring God I could just get over it and be happy and forget about him, but I cant. I’ve never been more miserable in all my life, then in the last 8 months that I’ve tried to figure life out all on my own. I’ve tried everything that I know to do, and my life is still empty, still completely and totally pointless. So, this is my last-ditch effort. I guess it’s some kind of a 30-day journey. Hopefully in the end I will have regained my friendship with God and I will have a whole new outlook on life. If not, well honestly I don’t know where to go after that.

Im tired of looking at my friends and family, at pastors and teachers…taking what they say and trying to apply it to my life and being left confused and frustrated when it doesnt make sense. I’m going to the source of truth. I’m going to the Creator of truth. If He cant help me come up with answers then who can? I’m going to come out of this whole thing much stronger, with some much clearer answers.

There are just so many things going on right now, and I just feel overwhelmed. I feel unqualified to live life at the moment, like I can only ‘fake’ it for so much longer, and pretty soon its just all going to collapse. People are going to see who I really am, and right now that person is really unhappy, really hurt, really confused and ready to give up.

I’m not saying I run around acting fake all the time. Quite to the contrary. I’m just tired of acting like I’ve got it all together, like life is making sense to me and I know where I’m going cause I don’t. I’m tired of the pressure, I’m tired of not being able to say ‘i dont understand’ ‘i dont know’ ‘i dont believe’.

I talked to God today for the first time in 8 months. It wasnt a happy conversation, but it was a conversation. I guess that’s a good thing? I told Him I was angry. I told Him I didnt understand why he would throw me into the circumstances he did. I told Him that a lot has happened to me that wasnt fair and I didnt know why he would just stand by and let it happen. I told him that I wanted to believe that he loved me, that he was there, that he was listening, but I couldn’t, because it hurt. Because the God that I used to love and trust with everything I had- that God let me down. I said that I was hurting, and if he really cared he would do something about it. I said that I wanted things to be different, I wanted to be close to him again but things were so messed up now, I didn’t know if it was possible.

I feel a lot happier already, even though I havent gotten any answers and I havent figured out anything. Just realizing that I dont have to understand everything, that it’s okay to be confused, that it’s okay to doubt God, and it’s okay to wonder about life, and its okay to wonder if I have a purpose…it relieves so much pressure.

I dont know what’s going to happen. I don’t know if I will ever really trust in the God that I used to, the way I used to. I don’t know if I will ever find a real purpose and meaning and direction for my life. I don’t know. But I do know that the next 30 days are going to be spent giving it all that I have- all that I have left. Something has to change, I’m heading down a path and in a direction that I don’t want to go. Time will tell.”

Praise God 🙂

Refocusing

Nov
02
Mrs. Shelia Buff, 55 next week, lives in a decent sized little trailer down a long dusty road in Cochran, Ga. With the most cheerful, good ole’ southern accent you could think of, we were greeted with hugs and ’I’m soooo happy you guys are here! I can’t believe it!!’
When you walk into ‘Mrs Buffy’s” house you feel right at home, like you’ve gone to visit your own grandmother. Everything was extremely comfy/cozy, the kitchen was decorated in apple-themed things with a small table in the middle. Made from scratch chocolate-chip cookies were waiting for us. We sat down and ate and talked while she walked around mixing up what she was cooking for dinner. She began asking about all the different babies and staff members at Sonrise. She began to share “I didn’t know why God was leading me to come and work at a baby home, I could never have children, every time I just see a baby I start crying, but I knew the very minute that i heard the church was taking a trip that I was supposed to go.”
She continued, “I was all excited about it till I got on that plane in ATL, then it all hit me, ‘Was it really God or did I just make this up?’ ‘Why a baby home? I can’t handle babies.’ ‘What have I gotten myself into. Oh well, only 9 days and then I never have to do this again.’” She said she continued to deal with all these different thoughts and feelings until they landed in Uganda and they got out of the plane. There is a very, very distinct smell in Uganda that can only be described as ‘Uganda’. I don’t know how to explain it, but when you step off that plane 1,000 things hit you at once. Mrs. Buffy described it as being able to ‘feel the country breathe’. At that time she said ‘Okay God, let’s do this.’
Sonrise has several college-aged Ugandans that volunteer full-time serving the baby home, helping with shopping, driving, cleaning, accounting, emailing, whatever needs to be done. These kids are truly remarkable, they work for free and they all have hearts of gold. They love these 37 children as if they were there own. Mrs Buffy said as soon as she was greeted by some of these volunteers, Aisha, Joseph, Jonathan and Ivan, God spoke to her heart and told her ‘They are why you’re here.’ For the next 7 days she loved on these volunteers, orphans themselves, pouring into them, encouraging them, listening to their stories and sharing her own. She cared for the caretakers.
This is a great story, heartwarming in itself, but what I found more challenging was the life of Mrs. Buffy now. it has been 3 months since her team came back but Uganda is still very present on her mind and her heart. As she walked us to our bedroom where we would sleep that night, we passed a hallway covered in framed pictures of her time in Uganda.
Jonathan is one of the volunteers at Sonrise. An orphan himself, he grew up in Northern Uganda where the rebel army has been reaking havoc for the last 15-20 years. He saw several of his family members murdered in front of him, his own mother tried to kill him because she didnt want the rebels to capture him. He has since been trying to care for his remaining family, cousins, siblings, etc, and in his ‘extra’ time, volunteering at Sonrise. Mrs Buffy shared that she felt led to pay for Jonathan to go to university, about $3000 a year. Damali was ecstatic. “He works so hard and is such a good guy, no one ever thinks about helping him, I can’t believe it, he will be so happy!’
She told us she was going to be moving soon. Damali asked her why and she explained “Well, I’m selling my trailer and moving into a smaller apartment closer to town. I can save on rent, on gas, etc so I will be able to send more money over there and hopefully come back next year too. When I came back I realized that I could downsize a lot and come up with more money to give.”
I’m sure there is a lot more to Mrs Buffy’s story, but I hope from this brief portion you are as encouraged as I was.This week has been very long and tiring. We spoke 8 times in 8 days and travelled 1550 miles by car. I have taken a huge pay cut because of all the traveling. The stress and pressure of trying to make ends meet is weighing on me. The not getting to see my church family and losing touch with friends is discouraging to me. But I was quickly reminded why we do what we do, why every ounce of energy poured into this ministry at Sonrise is worth it. The gospel is being spread. The good news that Jesus came and we are set free to live a life of meaning and purpose and passion. God is changing lives. And not just lives in Uganda but lives here, in the local church. People are being inspired and encouraged and moved to action. We are on a mission field right here on the home front, with a very important mission.
So please, continue to join in on this mission through prayers and encouragement. God is doing big things through all of our combined efforts and through your prayers and support you guys are just as much a part of it as we are out on the road, up on the stage, or in the middle of the village.