Thursday, June 09, 2011

A Time to Remember

Some seasons in life meander. Some just come crashing in.

Both speak Him, when I listen.

Faith Quest: God brought me to Revelation 3 and the church of Philadelphia just before Faith Quest began. The church in Philadelphia was few in number. Weak. Bearing wounds and constant persecution from the “religious” and “righteous”. The “righteous” who had more money and more “solid” history. But were missing something.

“I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.”

This was God’s Word to His people. Not greater success. Or less struggle.

His love and adoration for his enduring people. Will be acknowledged.

What sweet, sweet assurance. What we see isn’t It. How He loves, Is.

We welcomed youth from different parts of Uganda and a team of 6 American visitors to this year's Faith Quest.

The theme was 'Under Construction.' And it was a great year. Learning. Prayer. Celebration. Worship and New Life.

All because of His Love for us.

Thank you to everyone who prayed us through this endeavor. Your prayers were answered in remarkable ways—good weather, open hearts, Glory to God.

May 5th, 2011: I never expected to feel this way, but I was dreading turning forty. Four Zero. (pause) Still not too happy about it. I can not explain it or analyze it or even apologize for it. Just wasn’t ready for those numbers on my cake.

So my dear family and sweet friends creatively spoke the truth (the number '35' was on my cake with five tiny candles hid behind) and it brought my heart such joy. My sweet girl works hard each year to mark my day with beauty. This year she baked my cake in an outdoor brick oven. The smiling faces of exuberance of my family made me so grateful that I have been graced another year to know them. Even if I’m not so thrilled with the actual numbers. Another year is a very good thing.

Keeping Moment: I was born on this day a few years ago but now share the birth day with my third born. Third born from my womb—third born-again in the Lord.

Nothing compares to sweet, simple faith expressed in the words, “I believe.”

“Jesus is the Son of God.”

He really has always known this but with frightening joy we will see it proven in his journey. As I hear his confession, experience his resolute decision and celebrate with the angels over his covenant love with Christ, I know the years ahead will rock him more than he could ever know. But this anchor holds.

He ponders deep and long over everything. And every so often, when I least expect it the depth bowls over and spills out into our awareness leaving me breathless and grateful.
I know my offspring well but only God knows their inmost beings. And He is there. Ever there. Loving, knowing, guiding and saving. Precious Savior—thank you.

Broken Hearts: Home from Faith Quest with exhaustion weighing heavy and a Facebook status alerts us to sorrow among our Tyler, Texas family. A fatal car accident has taken the life of dear friend.

I remember the first time we met. Jeff M. was carrying Cade in a baby carrier. Alicia was carrying food. I was pregnant with Isaac. We were at the Burnett’s for care group. I thought Alicia was beautiful. And she immediately began asking questions. About my pregnancy. About Uganda. About my life.

She asked me if I needed anything.


She always asked if I needed anything.

We talked about baby needs and she said she would get some stuff together for me.

Boxes and boxes of clothes and blankets and toys.

Playgroups. Lunches. So many hugs.

Shopping. Packing. Watching my kids.

Laughing. Crying.

We are blessed when friends come along side us and, despite our frequent and long separations, open their lives and hearts to us. Jeff and Alicia were such friends.

She sent an email just after we arrived back in Uganda this time. Letting me know she missed me. Asking if I needed anything. (smile) And saying that she loved me.

I responded to her email. Lots of news from here. My love and constant prayers.

It was the last communication we would have. If I had known that, would I have said something different?

Our hearts are with Jeff, Jeron, & Cade daily as they walk through the grief of losing Alicia. We long to do more.

Valley of the shadows: In the wake of grieving with the Morrisons we hear of other friends and families facing loss. A young man passes quietly in his sleep, a Dad placed in hospice care while the family gathers, traumatic accidents shattering hearts and hopes.

Tornadoes. Earthquakes. Volcanoes.

A woman is assaulted just outside our fence.

Weighty. Heavy happenings.

And that empathetic weight makes the daily walk more cumbersome.

The daily facts of no electricity. The unused washer and dryer that would make it all so much easier. Homeschooling three active boys, on my own. Pre-algebra with Kinley.

The assaults on ministry here—lies. Deception. Brokeness.

“We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May YOUR UNFAILING LOVE rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.” Psalm 33:20-22

Each moment reminding me—
Beauty and pain coexist.
I should fear neither. Embrace both.

For everything He can make them.

“I know the plans I have for you,”

“To give you a future and a hope”

Precious Lord. Come quickly.