Saturday, February 28, 2009

May 7, 1940-February 21, 2009
my thatta is gone. i received an email last friday informing me that he had's taken me quite some time to be able to put words to any of my thoughts and feelings, and i know that it's going to continue to take time to process through everything.
i've hated the distance that has been separating me from india and the orphanage more than normal this week. more than anything i've wanted to be with my family there who understand my thoughts, my feelings, and my pain. i've longed to sit on the steps in front of the girls' hostile holding the little ones in my arms and comforting the older ones. and i have wished so much that i could adequately convey to johnson's family how much of an impact he had on my life.
thinking about this summer and potentially going back to the orphanage is such a bittersweet thought. yes, i have confidence that johnson will be one of the first people that i see when i get to heaven, but it kills me to know that johnson won't be the first person i see when i open up the door to my apartment. it kills me to know that i will never have tea and biscuits with him again here on the earth, and it breaks my heart to know that i will not be able to laugh at his jokes.
i'm finally reaching the place where i am thankful for the vivid memories i do have with him, and i'm beyond thankful for the six life changing weeks i spent with him. i hate that i wasn't able to say good-bye, but i rejoice in the fact that he is walking on the streets of gold, singing continual songs of praise, and basking in the presence of our Lord who allowed our paths to cross. and i'd be willing to put money on it that he's having coffee and cashews and cracking jokes with moses, elijah, king david, john the baptist, job, and everyone else.
i'm sure there will be more thoughts to come, but i know until i get to heaven, the memories will continue to live on, and i will continue thanking the Lord for the beauty that comes along with the Body of Christ.

Friday, February 6, 2009

as i find myself sitting in front of the computer tonight, my surroundings are completely different for the first time in a long time as i write on here. my empty smoothie cup is sitting on the table, my journal, bible, and books are tucked nicely away in my bag, music i have never heard before in my life is playing in the background, i hear the chatter of multiple conversations occurring around me, and while i'm sitting with perfect posture in a booth and not sitting in my big, comfy red chair on campus, i am more content now that i have been in quite some time.

as my last semester at iwu has continued to transpire, life has not slowed down nor has it gotten any easier. i find myself exhausted when i get back from practicum and feeling as though i am missing on on so many of my friends' lives. i hate that there aren't more hours in the day, and i hate the fact that i can't just survive on two hours of sleep. it just feels like there aren't enough hours in the day.

and i hate that too.

i've hated it all semester, but this week it all caught up with me. it's the first time in a long time i've had someone look at me and say, "you're not taking care of yourself." i tried to argue it and deny it, but there really was no way around it. i did just what i had promised myself i wasn't going to do again; i overcommitted myself, i tried to live up to others' expectations, i tried to take care of myself, i completely ignored the heartache i was feeling, and i most definitely did not trust blindly.

how thankful i am, though, for the Lord's goodness and grace. because although time and time again i fail He remains faithful, saying to me, "My precious daughter, I love you and I care for you. You have to let me, but I will always be here to hold you, to wipe away your tears, to listen when you need to vent, to walk with you hand in hand, and to remind you that you are worthy." it truly does give a new meaning to the part in amazing grace when it says, amazing grace...that saved a wretch like me. i sometimes am that wretch, but his amazing grace saves me every, single time.

regardless, the craziness of my week began on monday when i received a text message from stacey saying that johnson had taken another turn for the worse. my heart instantly broke, but i refused to let myself feel anything because i knew i had to get through the remainder of the day at practicum. i'm not even entirely sure i have words to describe the range of emotions i felt this week or how to tell anyone that even though i know the right thing to do is surrender the situation to the Lord, i don't want to let go of him yet. i don't want when he said, "i have faith we will meet again," to be when i see him in heaven, i want it to be this summer. i want him to be sitting at his desk and greeting me with "good morning, children," i want him to come over and have coffee with me every afternoon and eat biscuits and tell stories of how the Lord has spoken to him and used him to impact the lives of others, i want to walk down to the orphanage with him singing hymns, i want him to crack his jokes to me so that i can tell him how funny he is, i want him to rescue me from the lizards and abnormally large spiders, i want him to laugh at me when i can't say the tamil words exactly right, i want him to share a meal with me again, i want to be able to tell him how much his obedience has set an example for me, and i want to have more time with him being my thatta.

selfish? perhaps. but my honest thoughts and feelings? most definitely.

however. i relent myself to the fact that the Lord's ways, reasons, and timing are far above mine. so even though i have all of those thoughts and feelings and while i'm still praying for the Lord to miraculously heal him, i completely and entirely entrust him into the Lord's care and am just now reaching the point where i can say, "Your will be done, Father Your will be done."

i rejoice in the fact, though, that when Johnson gets to heaven, whether that be tomorrow, next week, next year or in ten years, i believe he is going to hear, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

i was reminded of the song today, I Want to Leave a Legacy, by Nichole the song it says, "i want to leave a legacy, how will they remember me? did i choose to love? did i point to You enough to make a mark on things? i want to leave an offering a child of mercy and grace who blessed you name unapologetically, and leave that kind of legacy."

as i thought about the lyrics and i thought about what kind of legacy i want to leave, i thought about the legacy Johnson will leave behind when he passes. i thought about the impact he has made in so many children's lives and i smile when i think about the impact he made on three, crazy american girls whom he chose to love unconditionally. the legacy he will leave is far more than he ever imagined, and his humbleness in that brings me far more joy than words can explain.

so as i continue to wrestle with the reality of the fact that i might not get to see this man i love and admire so much again before the Lord calls him home, i smile to myself when i think about the mansion the Lord has prepared for him in heaven, and i smile to myself even bigger when i think about the Lord placing our homes side by side in heaven so that he will again one day be able to say, "good morning, children," and so that we can laugh together again in perfect paradise.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

today in church i was reminded of how the Lord can speak to all of us in such different ways through the same message.

part of me feels as though i should apologize that basically everytime i blog somehow, someway india is incorporated into it, but at the same time, i'm not sorry at all. i'm not sorry at all that the Lord moved in my life in such a huge way this past summer, and i am not sorry at all that i am continuing to be changed from it.

during the sermon today, my mind traveled back to india; more specifically to the sunday that i preached at sutheban's small church. i was reminded of how i talked about how we, as Christians, are all members of the same body, but each of us has different roles and make up different parts of it.

sometimes, i think it's hard for us, actually, i know it's hard for me, to not wish i was a different part of the body and to not compare myself to other believers. and right now, it's hard for me to know how my role in contributing to the different parts of the body is going to continue to play out as i'm just three short months away from embarking on a completely different chapter in my life.

i think of all the possibilities, and i think of the passions the Lord has given me. i think about my gifts, i think about my weaknesses, and i wonder how they are all going to line up.

and then i remember, i have no control. none. zip. zilch. nada. and as scary as that is for me on certain days, today i rejoice in it.

not only did i learn this summer that no one else can take my place in the Body of Christ, i also learned and came to the understanding of how true it is that His power is made perfect in my weaknesses. how freeing...

and for now, i will continue praying that other people will come to a similar understanding, and eventually, i know i will learn that the Lord answers my prayers...He just answers them in his time and not mine.

thank you, Father, for your sovereignty, and for the way you
speak to truth to each of your children. thank you that your timing
is far above ours and that you have created each of us uniquely
and perfectly for the paths you ordained for us even before
we were born. may we understand and recognize
that you love each of us indefinitely, and that the stories
you have given us all the the potential to turn a life around
and make a difference in your Kingdom.