Thursday, November 27, 2008

i never could have guessed that the things i learned prior to going to india this summer and some of the things i learned while i was in india this summer would be playing such a huge part in my life right now.

some days i am so thankful for it; others i resent it.

how can you resent it one may ask? simple. how can i not? how can i not resent the fact that the unknown is scary? how can i not resent the fact that following the Lord often times is difficult and requires sacrifice?

maybe resent isn't the right word. but for tonight, that's what describes how i am feeling. that doesn't mean that i am not still trying to seek the Lord's will for my life, because i am, but i think sometimes we all need to be reminded that dangerous surrender is exactly that: dangerous.

i don't know what my future holds for me, but this week i have been reminded that just because i make plans doesn't mean that they are going to happen. i have been reminded of the importance of holding on loosely to the things that mean so much to me, and i have been reminded of the love the Lord has placed in my heart for people, a culture, and a country halfway around the world from me.

on tuesday afternoon, i convinced a few of my friends to watch born into brothels with me. the movie is set in calcutta, india and tells the story of children whose mothers work as prostitutes. i knew watching the movie would be hard, but i didn't know what i had gotten myself into. the tears started about five minutes into the movie, and they didn't stop until a good fifteen to twenty minutes after the movie was over.

i cried for the children in the movie, and i cried for the children whose stories still remain untold. i cried for the mothers who are stuck in prostitution, and i cried for the men who see nothing wrong with what they are doing. i cried for the poverty, i cried for the brokenness, and i cried for the caste system. i cried for my children at Hope Home, and i cried because i missed my Thatta. i cried because of the vivid memories that were brought back to life, and i cried because of what the future may hold for me.

after the movie ended, i clicked on the extra scene of "three years later". the lady who lived among these children traveled back to the place this movie took place and was able to catch up with the children she spent so much time with three years earlier. as i watched her walk into the entrance of the boarding school where some of the girls now lived, i saw them run to her. i saw them run into her arms and her hold them tight.

for a second, i felt like i was back in india. i felt like i had just returned from the hospital this summer when we had spent a week away from the children and they were dropping their school books and running into my arms. and then i imagined what it really will be like when i am able to return to 120 of the most beautiful children in the world...and more tears continued to fall.

like i said earlier, i'm not sure what my future holds for me, and while it's scary at times, i will continue to remember the importance of trusting blindly and entrusting others into His care. and in this process i know that i will continue learning what dangerous surrender truly looks like, and i am sure that my heart will continue to break for what breaks his. may i be obedient wherever He leads.

[how thankful i am to serve a God who hears and answers my prayers...]

Friday, November 21, 2008

for the past 20 minutes, the song "Lead Me to the Cross" has been on repeat. allow me to share the lyrics:
Savior I come
Quiet my soul remember
Redemptions hill
Where Your blood was spilled
For my ransom
Everything I once held dear
I count it all as lost

Lead me to the cross
Where Your love poured out
Bring me to my knees
Lord I lay me down
Rid me of myself
I belong to You
Lead me, lead me to the cross

You were as I
Tempted and trialed
You are
The word became flesh
Bore my sin and death
Now you're risen

rid me of myself, i belong to
there simply are no words tonight.
may i let this song be my prayer.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

today i am overwhelmed by God's goodness, grace, sovereignty, power, might, love, forgiveness, faithfulness, persistence, giving spirit, wisdom, plans, and relationship.

as i sat in chapel today, i can't even fully explain to you the things i was thinking, besides the fact that the God i serve is so big. and i can't comprehend him. my heart is burdened for the brokenness i have seen, for friends who are struggling, and for the simple fact that there are people all around this nation and world who don't know the loving power of Jesus.

but, i am thankful for that burden. as a matter of fact, i consider myself blessed with it.

i know that some days the road i am traveling on might be lonely, but i'm thankful that He walks with me hand in hand, that he sees the tears that fall, that he laughs when i laugh, and that He has the answers to all of life's questions.

i'm learning, i'm living, and i'm loving, and i wouldn't want it any other way.
may the Lord continue to teach me how to be present where He has me in the here and now and to rejoice in his divine appointments.

how thankful i am that even though He doesn't need me, He chooses to use me anyway.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

i received a text from my dad this morning. it's the first time i've heard from him since he's been out of the country, but little did i know how heavy my heart would be for the remainder of the day.

his text asked me if i had received an email about the little girl on the left. he said she is very sick and in the hospital. instantly, my stomach dropped. subitha is one of the girls the three of us worked very close with this summer; although she looks small in stature, she's in the sixth standard. however, she cannot read. basically, the staff told us there was no hope for her because she'll never be able to complete an education.

i refused to believe it then, and i refuse to believe it now.

although i didn't receive the email my dad texted me about, he forwarded it to me. it said that she was diagnosed with dengue fever which is similar to malaria. she's been violently vomitting for about a week, and just recently, they finally put her on an iv. there was an attached picture of this little girl laying in the hospital bed to the email; although i could vaguely recognize her face, her body appeared emaciated.

as i looked at the picture, i couldn't help but want to drive to indianapolis and ask to be put on the next flight to india so that i could be with her in the hospital. i want to go hold her, to let her cry on my shoulder, to remind her that she is loved, that there is still hope, and to tell her that although our skin is a different color i will always consider her one of my children. but then i thought for a second of her older sister (right). what pain she must be feeling. i'm not sure what information has been shared with her, but because of indian culture, i highly doubt it is much.
can you imagine for just a second what it would be like to lose your mother, to have your father abandon you, and now have your younger sister be incredibly sick? that's exactly what this little girl is going through. i wish that i could go to india for her, too. to hold her, to comfort her, to tell her that she, too, will always be considered one of my children, and i wouldn't trade her for the world.
i hate that my life continues to go on without them and their life continues to go on with me. in the physical sense, of course. i hate that i am sitting in a big, comfortable red chair in my living room when i could be sitting in a plastic lawn chair in johnson's apartment. i hate that i'm going to get up tomorrow morning and not go worship with them at their chapel. i hate that tomorrow after chuch i am not going to be able to go to the hospital where subitha is--to hold her small little hand, to stroke her forehead, to pray with her, to sing to her, or to do anything that a little girl would want her mother to do.
but for now. i find myself speechless...
may the holy spirit simply intercede as he always says he will.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

it's hard to believe it's been almost four months since i returned back to the states. and it's even harder for me to believe how tender my heart has truly become since returning home. i never used to cry, and now daily, it is almost guaranteed that my eyes will well with tears at least once, and more often than not, they spill over onto my face.

i wouldn't change it for the world.

there are certain points during the day that i catch myself daydreaming, thinking about what the children are doing, what johnson is doing, or what i would be doing if i were there right then, but then i am quickly brought back to reality when i am hit in the face with the harsh reality that i am halfway around the world from them.

i wish i could click my heels three times and be there, laughing with johnson, playing with the children, joking with the staff, eating with my fingers, and sitting on the roof pouring our my heart to the Lord. if only it were that easy.

i think over the course of the last two weeks i have been completely and utterly overwhelmed with the brokenness i see all around me each and everyday. and i hate it and love it all at the same time. i hate it because i hurts but i love it because it truly is giving me a glimpse of what the Lord sees on a daily basis.

oh life...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

it hit me today. like a ton of bricks.

i'm not going to be spending christmas with my children. i never thought of it before, but as soon as i realized it, my eyes welled with tears and they haven't stopped since. today, i feel like i did when i was on the airplane leaving the country. the pain is real and fresh despite the fact that it has been three and a half months. i can still close my eyes and picture each of the children, the staff members, and johnson. if only i could touch them...if only i could hold them...if only i could laugh with them.

may i learn what it means to embrace this pain rather than pretend like it isn't there, and as i am embracing it, may i also remind myself that i must continue to entrust them into his care.