Wednesday, June 23, 2010

i spent part of my night tonight at one of my dearest friend's houses holding her precious new baby. as i held the little guy in my arms, it was hard for me to believe that he's already here but beyond that, that she's old enough to have a kid. it seems like just yesterday i was standing up with her at her wedding, but i guess that was almost two years ago. but what an opportunity to celebrate joy. and how thankful i am to have journeyed through life with her this far and to be able to share in this with her and her husband as well.

and in the midst of all of that, as i was holding him and talking with her and her husband, i became overwhelmed with God's blessings. not just for new life, but for how good the God i serve is.

the God i serve has brought so many people into my life who have been consistent, supportive, and loving over the years. the God i serve just opened the door for me to go to India and spend time loving on my children there. the God i serve has given me a job (while sometimes stressful) i love. the God i serve has given me a more amazing family than i could ask for. the God i serve has brought an amazing man into my life with whom i will spend the rest of my life with. the God i serve demonstrates his power in the storms going on outside right now. the God i serve transcends distance barriers. the God i serve answers prayers. the God i serve still performs miracles. the God i serve reveals himself through scripture and through children's smiles and laughs. the God i serve brings me encouragement in the most unexpected ways. the God i serve has given me the Holy Spirit to walk with me through my days. the God i serve is intimate. the God i serve is sovereign. the God i serve is loving. the God i serve is unchanging.
i am so thankful.
and i am so blessed.
and i am so humbled.
that the God i serve in the midst of all of his goodness chooses to love a wretch like me.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

well, i've been an epic failure at keeping my blog updated. anyway, down to business.
since my last post, i feel like a lot of changes have continued to occur. such is the theme of life right now, i suppose. currently, i'm at the six week mark until i get married, and i just returned from india on Thursday. going to India meant taking my first vacation from my full time job, and while it was needed, two weeks was a long time to be gone and i have a feeling i'll be playing catch up for quite awhile there.

and in the midst of all the changes, i have been learning a lot about myself and a lot about this stage of life i find myself in. i feel like i've probably mentioned it before, but this stage of life is so uncertain. there are so many unknowns, and for those of you who know me well, know that i hate unknowns. but God has been faithful, and God has been continuing to show up in the times where i am feeling the most frantic. and for that i am forever grateful.
regardless, my time in india this year, proved once again to be nothing short of amazing. it's truly an undescribable feeling in regards to how much i felt at home when i stepped off of the airplane in the Delhi airport. the stares of the Indians we passed as we talked down the streets of Delhi really didn't even seem to bother me as much as they have in the past, bargaining with the shop keepers came naturally (i even talked my way into three free bracelets from a shop for us girls in the south. ha.), and it didn't even take any practice to be comfortable eating with my fingers again.

but the most amazing, undescribable feeling didn't come when i was staring at the taj mahal for the first time in my life, but when i was reunited with my beautiful, beloved children. feeling their fingers on my face, hands intertwined with mine, arms wrapped around my waist, and hearing them all exclaim "elizabeth sister!!" overwhelmed my heart with joy. and seeing my precious little nanthini peek her head around the corner and offer me a sheepish smile is a memory that will be forever etched in my mind and on my heart.

all my children have grown or changed in some way over the course of the last year, but that's expected. and when i told them i was getting married, the excitement was expressed all over their faces, and they asked if we could have a celebration in India. i told them of course, but i didn't have the heart to tell them i don't know when it will be. they asked for me to come back in august, but i told them i was just praying for the Lord to allow me to come back soon. they said they would join me in praying.

my week at the orphanage passed much too quickly, though. and it's hard to believe that literally just three days ago, i was able to hold them on my lap and wrap them in my arms, give them love pinches on their cheeks and laugh with the older girls about the nicknames they gave us american girls.

while i was there, God definitely showed he always does. take for example, when i found out right before bed on saturday night that i would be preaching on sunday morning. God showed up and gave me the words, i believe, he wanted me to share with the children at the orphanage. or take for example when the two little girls were being dropped off at the orphanage by their mother...seeing this was one of the most heartbreaking situations of my life. the littlest one screamed and cried for her mother as the staff member carried her down to the hostel and the mother walked away. the children were from a very poor family and they had no father. the mother was unable to take care of them. as i spent some time observing this little girl, she was very scared and shy at first, but by the end of my time there, i was carrying her in my arms along with her older sister and nanthini and she was smiling. it is my hope and prayer she will continue to thrive in the Christian environment there and that God will become very real to her and her sister as they come from a Hindu family. and not only that, but this little girl was one of the smallest, most malnourished little girls i've ever seen in my life. her legs were not even as big around as my arms and her ribs protruded from her chest. but, how thankful i am for the fact that she will not only be fed physically at the children's home, but also spiritually.

and one of my most favorite moments during my time in India came from a conversation with little Sejola. rebecca and i were sitting in the room of her hostel with her and one other girl and she was telling us about the pictures of jesus in the room. there were two pictures of jesus in the room but Sejola continued to insist there were three Jesus' in the room. she then proceeded to point to the pictures and then to her heart. and i asked her, "Sejola, is the third Jesus in your heart?" and with the biggest smile on her face, Sejola shook her head yes and said "Ama" which is tamil for yes. oh what Joy filled my heart then too.

being back in the states has not been an easy transition this time never is though. i miss my children, i miss the staff, i miss terry, jeeva, and little gerilynn, and i miss Helen. and this time, my best friend is still there for the next four weeks. so i miss her too.
but i am trying my hardest to find peace and joy in being back in the states as i am preparing for one of the biggest changes in my life. and I know that just as God has been faithful in all the little things before in my life that he will continue to be faithful in my life for all of always. and as i am continuing to find peace and joy in this, it is my prayer that God would show me what it looks like to let him have complete control over my life. and to trust that he knows far more of what i need then what i do. it's not an easy journey, but i know, in the will be well worth it, and i will be more of the woman God is calling me to be.