Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Love That Last a Lifetime

 Jeremiah 31:3 "I have loved you with an everlasting love and I have drawn you in with my loving kindness."

         This verse has continually spoken into my life: since I was 15 years old and first heard it at a girl's "Pink Princess" event, but hearing it and understanding it are completely different things. It is one thing for me to hear that the divine Orchestrater, beautiful Aavior, and loving King longs to know me personally but to fully wrap my mnd around that concept is a very different thing. Love in our world seems so fluid, a word aimlessly tossed around, a word that has almost become void with carelessness, yet it is one of the most powerful words we find in scripture. What would cause the All Powerful God to send his only son to earth to be beaten, spat upon, and murdered? Nothing but an all consuming, never ending love (see John 3:16). To hear about this love is one thing-to experience, well that is entirely different.
         In the government housing community I am working in it is not unusual for me to say the same kids day after day after day. But, what is semi unusual is to see my precious children from last year. Last Friday started off like any other day. I was sitting in the gym officiating a game of knockout when a small boy skipped into the gym. I turned to look but quickly found myself doing a double and a triple take he was one of my children from last year and I felt the tears automatically sting my eyes. I cautiously walked over to him (he is only 5 after all) and got down on my knees so I would be eye level "J* (name changed for privacy purposes) do you remember me?" I wasn't expecting an answer-I had passed in and out of these children's lives in the past year and so much had changed. What happened took my breath away-"MS. MEGAN!" He screamed and jumped into my arms, knocking me flat on the back in the process. He giggled and wrapped his arms around my neck as I struggled to sit back up. "I LOVE YOU" he exclaimed proudly. My breath caught in my throat, my eyes stung with tears, and my stomach churned. How could one so young remember something from a full year ago? And then it hit me-a love with an action will make an everlasting impact. But, a love without action will leave a void-it is a void for it is not true love. I spent the rest of the day carrying little J all over the gym, laughing at the things he laughed at, making sure he had food, and most importantly lots of hugs. He had stolen my heart and he still remembered it.
          What is love without action? It is simply a word. Jesus never simply said "I love you" he fed his people, he taught them, he healed them, he provided, and he sacrificed. However, we long for a glamorous love in this life. One where perfect people cuddle on the couch after a long day, children all eat and stand in a single file line for their food, and everyone is thankful, but that is not real life. That is a fantasy. Love is acting even when you long to sit down and rest, love is serving when everyone is pushing and shoving for food, love is continuing to provide as best as you can when people grab and push and complain. I want to live a life of love-even when it is not a glamorous one. And this is a lesson God is continuously teaching me.
          For those of you who do not know me very well you might not know (although I will enlighten you) the fact that I HATE FEET. I am not very fond of mine (I appreciate them very much I just don't like to look at them) and I especially do not like other peoples. The other day at a block party a little girl got sand-spurs all in her feet (if you have never experienced a sand-spur you are very lucky because they are very painful and from Satan himself I swear). "Help her" I felt it in my heart but I felt sick thinking about it."God she is 5 years old she can do it herself" I heard myself argue back. "You are 19 and I still help you" was the soft reply. Talk about a smack to the face. So I gently scooped this little girl into my arms, gently set her onto the table and quietly began removing each and every spur, even the ones buried deep. By the time I was done I had removed about 25 from her little feet but I had built an opportunity to talk to her about the love of our Savior. After she walked away I still hated feet-but I had more of an understanding how my loving Father Scoops me up and sets me down to remove all the aches and pains that I have. He looks into my nasty mess of a heart and quietly removes the ouchies and he never complains, he never says "this is too much" or "she can do it herself" and I am so thankful.
         Thank you for the love and support we have received while being here. My team and myself continue to covet your prayers for safety and for people's hearts as we try to minister and love.
All my Love!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

My life has been wrecked

Before I begin I would like to apologize for not posting. Our Internet has been down the past few weeks-much to the frustration of all of those involved. I should be much more consistent now in my post-I great appreciate the thoughts and prayers.

        Exhausted. A word I have loosely thrown around my entire life, yet a word that has becomes insanely real in the past few weeks. We have easily fallen into our routine. Get up, eat breakfast, go to lead day camps in the RV Parks, eat lunch on the go, work in the government housing community, eat dinner, throw a block party, plan for the next day. Our days frequently range from 8-8 and the sheer emotional toll is draining. Yet, in the midst of this I am more joyful than I have ever been. God is using my fatigue, my human emotions, and my stubbornness to change some lives.
          The days are long but our moments are sweet. The other night I was at a block party we were hosting, my job was simple-sit inside and make sure the kids don't kill each other. As I'm sitting in the corner of the bounce this precious little blond two year old girl climbs I'm, walks over to me, stops in front of me and stares. My initial reaction was to scoot away but every time I tried she scooted closer. Eventually she giggled and went down the slide, but this routine repeated itself about 9 times. Over the roar of the pump I heard her grandmother tell her the night was over and she needed to go home-she quickly ran around the corner only to reemerge and jump back inside the bounce house. This time our routine changed-she ran over to me, put a new plucked flower behind my ear, smiled and went down the slide. My heart immediately melted. No matter how tired I am I know people still notice-we are still touching lives, we still matter.
            Our phrase this summer is "God wrecked my life". Usually when you have your life wrecked it is a horrific incident, one that leaves you forever changed. But, when God wrecks your life he leaves you abundantly joyful, in constant anticipation, and with a powerful persistence. I have played a million games of knockout, I have been cussed at, hit, kissed, hugged, loved, and hated. I have danced like a fool as the only white girl in a gym, I have given piggy back rides until I thought my back would break and yet I cannot wait to wake up every morning and do it again. The beautiful children that play with my hair, the girls that cry telling me how it feels to be unloved, the boys who cave into hugs even though they are "too old" for them. They have wrecked my life, stolen my heart and changed my life forever.
          If this is exhaustion I cannot get enough of it. My team as well as myself appreciates your prayers as we were reminded yesterday of just how dangerous our jobs can be. We had an accident at our ministry location and one of our boys has fractured three bones in his face-we returned to the work sight without him today to some very confused and concerned kids. There is no doubt we are in the center of God's will because satan is fighting back hard.
Love and kisses :)