He still has places to take me so I can really see…

Let your compassion come to me that I may live…

Psalm 119:77

I used to think my story was the worst I’d ever hear; ofcourse, I was young and in the midst of it and was pleading with God almost daily over it.  He was there, but He had places to take me so I could really see.  He kept me there;  He didn’t take me out.  I was angry at times with Him over that.  Why would a loving God design such a life for me?  (I still ask Him that on days when it’s hard – how can the God of the Sabbath rest allow His children to toil so hard and long?)  It has taken awhile for me to begin to understand.  Just to begin.

God did not design this; our choices did.  He did not design this, but He is not incapable of renovation.  He makes all things new!  If I have learned anything about renovation, which I typically do not like though we are a diy kind of family around the house, is that it gets worse before it gets better.  And I have to live in the “midst of the worse” (I don’t have a second house to run to during demolition)!  That week or two of remodeling is hard for me!  I tense up as the furniture is moved and the stove and refrigerator are moved out and my place of peace is turned into chaos.  Every morning, when I would usually come down to a peaceful, quiet, clean retreat space, I have to come down to dust and tools and messes that leave me agitated.  I want out of the mess!  No amount of candles, instrumental music, or coffee seem to help!  I just want out!  I want to wiggle my nose, blink my eyes, and have it all done!  God, He’s not phased by it.  The Perfect, Holy, No-Mess within Himself God, is not put out by the mess.  Instead, He found a way to get into it, and He didn’t walk around in a huff over it all.  He didn’t run right back to heaven when He was confronted with the mess of Pharisees, Sadducees, and prostitutes.  He didn’t leave His “brothers” when they lacked sense and made foolish decisions and betrayed Him.  He didn’t yell at them over the mess; He just gave His whole self over to serving in it.  (I could take some pointers from Him when I walk into said little children’s bathroom…ahem!)

Me, I huffed, I tried to run, I yelled, I left.  I didn’t think I’d ever look back, but God had places to take me so I could really see.

So I go to college, I marry, I bare children, I join Nathan in a few ministries, and along the way my own life begins to take on renovation.  Leaving and going to a small Bible college in a nowhere town will do that for you.  Getting married within the year you begin dating will do that to you.  Having children 10 months later will do that to you!  Being a part of a “few ministries” will do that to you!!  And, yes, it got worse before it began to get better.  All that I was began to be remolded by The Potter, but you know how a Potter begins again, right?  Yeah, He stops the spinning of what was, takes what was already molded, and breaks it or pushes it back down into one big messy lump, and it can leave a person undone and wondering about that “future and a hope”.

So I go to a college where I know no one, but most importantly no one knows me.  No acclaims trumpeted before me announcing my arrival.  I would begin to realize that I wasn’t the only one with a hard past; in fact, sometimes my past wouldn’t even come close to theirs.

So I get married as a 20 year old kid, and all those times people said I was “mature for my age” didn’t seem to carry over into two becoming one.  I would begin to realize life wasn’t all about me, my issues, my disadvantages; it would be here that I would come face to face with my selfishness for the first time.  Thank God, He had places to take me so I could really see.

So I have babies, and all those ways I said I’d never be are displaying themselves as who I already am.  How could this be?  How can I be the very thing I ran away from?

So we become “ministers”; atleast, that’s the title.  Church’s really are either foolish or very merciful when they let kids come into lead them.  You know us, out there to change the way things have been done, and don’t get in our way with your traditions!

It’s here in these messy places that God begins to remake, remold, renew, restore. I don’t know it as it is happening, but I think the scales are falling off this blind-hearted girl.  The girl in college began to see a world in need of compassion, not just herself.  The woman-child who married started to understand that selfishness is a lonely place and only the servant will know real love.  The young mom began to understand that it would be her God, not her will, that would make all things new…and maybe He would see fit to keep some “vintage pieces” around.  We call them thorns; He calls them places of Grace.  The adolescent-ministers began to realize it wasn’t about bigger budgets, new ideas, and breaking the mold.  Ministry is still about what Jesus made it about – loving people.  Even the hard people.  Even the rude people.  Even the different people.  Even the rich and even the poor.  He showed compassion on who He showed compassion; and He was no respecter of persons.

He still had places to take me so I could really see. 

So we became sponsors.  The boys wanted another sister; so, we said, “Choose a girl.”  They chose our Jenifer Lukas.  She is between Hannah and Aaron in age.  She has a mother who writes her letters for her; she seems like she has a trust and love for God.  It’s been so good to read of her Mom, Dad, sister, Grandmother, and dog.  It’s been exciting to hear of how she loves to sing.  It’s been a privilege to pray for her Grandmother and humbling to pray that she wouldn’t have to sell the dog she loves in order to buy necessities.  It’s been a beginning.

I wonder how the blind man made well felt when he could see again?  Did he notice the beauty of God’s creation?  Did he notice color and texture?  Did he notice the rich robes and structures around him?  Did he notice the poor?  Did he, who needed and received compassion, finally look around and see there were others who needed it?  Did he find that the time he spent sitting in the dirt blind was not a deprivation or a waste or a curse but that it was the very way he was supposed to go in order to truly see after the lights came on?  How can one know light if he does not know darkness?  How can one share light unless he has been given it?  Would he keep the light to himself?  Hiding it under a bowl?  Would I?

They say I’m a sponsor – helping a little girl and her family in Indonesia.  I say I’m just woman-child – being helped by a little girl and her family.  They help me learn to shine.  They are giving me real sight.

He still has places to take me so I can really see.  

Do you really want to see?  Would you just go here and see the faces of children who need your light?  Could you make a Prayer Calendar and pray for those who still need sponsors?  Could you let go of one thing in order to take hold of one more child?  Do your children want another brother or sister?  Maybe let them choose.  Could you just let someone else know about this amazing opportunity for them to see?