Thursday, May 12, 2016

Learning the Hard Way

           These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of emotion. My father, passed away unexpectedly on April 6th. We moved up to Michigan 3 days before. I've wanted to write so much, so badly. Yet, though I had so much to say, I couldn't find the right words. I started several times to write a post, but it was too personal to share. I poured my heart out into words that expressed everything from emptiness, to anger, to joy, to guilt. I'm not normally an emotional person. I tend to keep things inside and expose them to a select few. This though, has broken me. I never could understand how someone could just tear up and start crying in front of everyone. Lately, it is hard for me to understand why people aren't crying with me. My dad was one of my best friends. I miss him terribly, yet time goes on. The world continues to spin. My children continue to grow. Time stops for no one.
            In this post I'd like to share some things I've learned from this tragedy in my life.

1)  Family is family, and friend are friends, but the people that step up, to hold you up, in these times are something special. Be one of those people for someone. When the dust settles and the people who were there at first are gone, be the one that sticks it out.

2) It's never too late to start getting to know and love people you wish you'd gotten to know before. You never know how long a persons time on earth will be. We all have relatives or friends that we wish we had taken the time to know better. Now is the time.

3) Be ready to meet God. We'd all like to think we have plenty of time. Some of us won't.

4) Your possessions and money don't go with you, so invest in souls.

5) God has a plan. It's not your plan. As much as you'd like to think you've got your plan in don't.

6) Write down the good memories, so others will be able to meet the one you lost,  in a way. My father will never be a great-grandfather, but I want his great-grandchildren to know who he was and how amazing he was.

7) Death comes to us all. It is the only thing in life we can be certain of.

8) Farther along we'll know all about it. Farther along we'll understand why..... If not in this lifetime, then after.

9) Tell the people you love, that you love them. Say "I love you" often.

10) Forgive. Whoever hurt you gave you the pain you have. It is yours now. You can choose to let it go, or you can choose to hang on to it in hopes that someone or something will take it for you one day. Forgiving someone is one of the most freeing things you'll ever do. I'm so grateful that my dad and I had nothing to forgive when his time came.

11) Don't waste time. It's such a gift. God gave us the gift of time so we would have time to come back to Him. Don't let your time run out.

12) You aren't strong enough. Lean on God and the people he places in your life.

13) Pray often.

14) Some things we will not understand until we meet Jesus for ourselves.

      I've learned so much over the past few weeks. I've learned to humble my heart a lot more, and to let go of more.

       I've found myself more motivated than ever before to do the work we came here to do. We moved here to save souls. I have the beautiful hope of seeing my father again one day and worshiping our Heavenly Father with him for eternity. I want other people to have that hope. I want others to know that death is not the end for those in Christ. Don't put your faith in the preacher, the church, or the teachers, because all those things are human and humans are imperfect. Put your faith in God. Be what God calls you to be despite the odds. We must go on with our lives though it seems things are falling apart around us. There is work to be done, and only God himself knows what precious time
we have left. Use it wisely.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

On our way to spread some seeds.

        It's time. Our things are packed. I'm a mix of emotions. Happiness, urgency, exhaustion, pain, hope, and joy just to name a few. My life has been a blur these past few weeks. My dad has been in the hospital for over 2 of those weeks, and he's still there. My heart has been on a crazy ride. I've been packing, home schooling, ill, sitting at the hospital, cleaning, hauling, laughing, crying. I taped a picture of my 'son', Mohammed, to the inside of my bible to remind me of why I'm doing this. My heart longs for him to know and obey the gospel. His people, and culture have forever touched my heart in deep and complex ways. So, it's time to get busy for God.

        We will be starting this adventure being self-supported.  We have hopes that along the road we will be privileged enough to have sponsors help support us so we can focus more on the ministry. Andy will have his plate quite full between working full-time, ministering, and earning his degree in biblical studies. I will be teaching our kids, working with the Arabic women, helping to care for my father, and working if necessary.

        We will not be going into this blind or alone. We will be working beside a dear brother in Christ, who has already started this ministry. He knows the intimate details of the culture and religion, as he is from the middle-east and was Islamic. He has such devotion to and passion for the truth. His heart wishes to see his people saved. All of us are motivated by love. With all the hate being thrown by people, and the fear of the Arab community, God's truth and love are desperately needed on both sides. Yes, the acts of terror carried out by extremists are horrific, but it only fills me with more urgency to snatch their souls from the fire. Just think of the amazing things that could be done if we love with the love of Christ!

         My heart is so full of hope. It's rather funny when I consider it. I'm not a trusting person. I don't discriminate, because I don't trust anyone (except a *very* small circle of people).  I believe that most people's intentions are not good. I find myself trying to figure out if people are being genuine, even on the smallest things. Yet I have such a deep desire to love, and show God's love. I suppose it's my way of going into things expecting to be hurt, but doing everything I can anyhow. No, it's not just you, this really does sound crazy! I do believe though, that everyone has good in them, you just have to dig for it sometimes, but it's there, just waiting to be free.  I also KNOW that Christ died for every human. Every single one. No exceptions. We need to look at people this way.  Our enemies? He died for them. Our friends? Them too. Neighbors? The person that cut you off in traffic? That relative you can't stand? The car thief? The person at work that drives you crazy? Yep, all of them. Even you. Even me. As Christians it is our job to let those who don't know that Christ died for them, learn that he did. They need to know that they are loved and precious to God. Not all will except, or even care. Very precious few will. For those few though, they need the chance to hear. Hope of heaven is not to be taken lightly. Forever is a long, long time. So, it's time.