Thursday, November 17, 2011

Looking Forward

Today I took a walk on a path by my house. It was cool and crisp outside with an incredibly clear turquoise sky. It was calling me, begging me to come outside and feel the sunshine. And so I did :)

While walking, I began to pour my heart to Him, sharing my fears and worries about the next chapter in my life. After pouring out those fears, He began to gently remind me of everything that I have to look forward to about this journey.

Here are a few of those things:

*Rice and fish... comfort food.

*3 am feedings :)

*Learning a language... piecing together the puzzles that will allow me to communicate with the people around me.

*That moment late in the night when all the babies are asleep and, for a few minutes, everything is silent, peaceful.

*Learning from those around me how to blend, love, rescue, protect, shelter.

*Bath time, dinner time, play time, snuggle time

*Being dirty, uncomfortable, broken, exhausted... it's in those moments when I feel the most beautiful, alive, free, fulfilled, at peace.

*Taking the step from foreigner to friend.

*The heat... I don't think I was created for cold weather.

*Learning to pray

*Those beautiful moments when God takes my breath away

*Watching a child grow from broken to restored, and their light and laughter return.

*Loving a child into the arms of a forever family

*The honor of loving a child to the arms of Jesus.

*Loving little ones, opening my heart, being stretched, diving deeper into the heart of God.

*Endless questions about whether or not I am related to Michael Jordan (it's because of my name, not because I'm black)

* The enevitable question, "When are you leaving"? and the response I have been waiting for so long to give, "I'm not".

Monday, November 14, 2011

Overwhelmed by Joy

It's funny....

Funny how one little person can completely change your world.

I looked into her eyes Saturday morning... those big brown eyes I had traveled over eight hours to see. She taught me how to play games and hula hoop. We made popsicles, snuggled while watching a movie, and at one point fell to the floor in a pile while trying to roller skate. I watched her sing in the children's choir, met her friends, laughed with her mom and big sister.

And I am overwhelmed.

When I doubt the faithfulness of the Lord, I look at her.

When I question if God is good, if His purpose is sure, if He really cares about every intimate detail of our lives, I look at her.

When I need to be reminded that He makes all things new and transforms our ashes into beauty, I look at her.

It's funny how even now, He uses her to help the broken pieces of my heart heal. Her contagious laugh and big smile. The way she always says,"What?" just to be silly. My sweet little sister.

And He uses her to renew my heart with purpose. Because there are so many more just like her. Many more who are broken and need His healing. Many more who need to find freedom and hear the sound of their own laughter.

Many more... His precious little ones, His miracles... who deserve families, birthday parties, report cards, and bicylces. Little ones who deserve to know they are loved.

I am not sure what my life is going to entail and how He is going to use me. I do know that when He first brought this little girl into my life, I had a choice. I could love her with my whole heart, or I could keep her at a distance. By His grace, I loved.

There will be more choices, more that He will bring me with stories that will be more heartbreaking, and may not have happy endings. And once again, He will give me the option of loving completely or keeping a distance. I pray that I will always choose love, because even though it hurts, it is so worth it.

To see the life and joy in her eyes, to watch as she bonds with her mom, to pray over her as she falls asleep... is so worth it.

He is worth it. And my heart is overwhelmed.