Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Noah had an ark.

we all know the story about Noah.
God told him to build a boat, animals went on two by two, his family didn't drown, there was a rainbow.

the thing we forget is this- God told him that is was going to rain. from the sky.

that had never happened before. it was something new.

God also told him all of this- and didn't tell everyone else. so when Noah told them ----they all thought he had lost his ever loving mind. and rightly so.

we don't know how long it took Noah to build the ark. but I am just gonna go out on a limb and say it wasn't a day. and it probably wasn't a week. but he knew God's promises. and he had this covenant with God. he trusted Him. and obeyed.

before when reading this story- nothing really stood out. I have heard it since I was three years old. we see it in baby's nurseries. we see it on storybooks of near pagans. it's just the norm to us.

but recently--in this season of life---the Lord has really brought me back to this story often.

I know the promises He has made me. the specific ones and the not so specific ones. I know that they are coming but I am in the midst of building the "ark" so to speak.

and things get even weirder.

I enjoyed some sweet time with Jesus in Lakeland, FL a few weeks ago. I prayed SPECIFIC things. it is listed day after day in my journal. and it doesn't mean anything to anyone else BUT my God answered that prayer the next week. it was an encouragement to my faith and while I am still trying to figure some things out that go along with that answered prayer- He's faithful, y'all.

the next week I got a devastating email. the job I longed for. the job I really thought I had in the bag. the job that I was over qualified for and had more than enough experience for. the one I had found apartments close to the location. well, yeah THAT job. I didn't get it.

I was crushed. hurt. confused. at the same spot I was after that harsh no to Sudan. the no that literally changed my life and was the best no I have ever received.

and then I read in my journal- I saw His answered prayers right before my eyes. it was happening. and He had answered that specific prayer because He knew hurt was coming.

and so here I am. no job. at the beautiful age of 25. and it's hard, guys. harder than I ever imagined.

and Jesus has told me not to go looking fora job. to wait for Him to MAKE A DOOR.

do you know how hard that is? I cannot tell you how many times a day I want to search or (ahem) actually do search for job openings. but I trust Him.

and I feel crazy. and people think I am weird for not looking. and being this lame jobless girl just hanging out with kids in the park and serving my homeless/jobless friends.

but I am pretty sure Noah would get me. he was there. people called him crazy but he kept building.

so alas, I will build me an ark and pray the rainbow comes a whole lot faster than expected.

His word is true. and He is trustworthy. for that I am thankful.

cannot wait to tell all of you when the promises and prayers are answered and come to fruition. stay tuned.

it's coming soon, guys. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

dear Jamie.

Dear Jamie,

Five minutes ago it officially turned into your birthday. You are 22 years old. And I cannot believe it.

I was three when you were born. I don't remember a lot about it. But there is an entire home video dedicated to that day. From the waiting room full of people, to me wearing my big sister shirt proudly, and it ends with me explaining that indeed they were my mommy and daddy but yours too.

I know I was excited. I had prayed many nights as a toddler before going to bed that Jesus would give me a baby sister. And you, my sweet sissy, were the answer to not only my prayer but to mama and daddy's prayer too.

You were perfect. Born early and small- but perfect. You looked like a little baby doll and I treated you just like that. I am holding you or kissing you or talking to you in every picture and video that we have. I was in love with you- and that has not changed one bit.

Months passed and then the news came. You were not just a spoiled baby who cried like doctors said but instead you had  disorder- one that we would learn much about in the coming years. Cerebral Palsy.

Even to this day- I get a little choked up when I say it. Because- it does not define you. Doctors wanted to put your abilities in a box. To tell us what you could and could not do. And as a small child myself- it was heart breaking. I wanted my sister to play barbies with me. I wanted you to run around with me. I wanted you to be able to tell me about your day at school. And you couldn't. I didn't understand completely. But I can assure you this. On that day in December of second grade- when Jesus took a hold of my life and the Holy Spirit inhabited my body- I was able to understand. The Holy Spirit was able to give me peace and understanding and a boldness even as a child when praying.

I prayed with urgency. Every single Bible class- I talked about you. I asked my friends to pray for you. My teachers to pray for you. And the days when I would walk into the halls of SCA with teary eyes because you had seizures all night the night before- my teachers touched Heaven for you, sissy. You have always been covered. And through those prayers and our gracious Heavenly Daddy- we have seen miracle after miracle.

You are so smart. You are so good at sorting colors and shapes. And you love to "doctor" us. You love to color. And I love it when you use that sweet right hand when trying to play. You push the boundaries- and I adore that.

You walk so good with our help and your braces. And you never really fuss about it. I am so proud of you. I cannot imagine the kind of heartache you have some days and you cannot express it. You have taken TONS of medicines your whole life like a pro. Endure endless physical therapies. And rely on us to do a lot of stuff for you. I am thankful the Lord is your comforter and gives you understanding.

You were so brave when I was in Africa. Cried only a few times and I think enjoyed being the boss around here.

Jamie, I am so thankful for the way you love others. Even though you get aggrivated with us and sometimes- yell- that's normal. I do that. But most importantly- you talk to everyone. And smile. And sometimes even say a little "AWW" so you can kiss their hand or hug them. That is like Jesus. People think you don't get it but you do. And you understand a lot more than we even realize.

Sometimes when I am praying out loud for you and reading verses to you- you just laugh- like the Holy Spirit is just telling you something. And I have no doubt that he is. because he loves you that much, Jamie.

We won't know just how many lives the Lord has changed through you until we get to heaven. But MAN, I cannot even comprehend how the Lord has used you. Because having you as MY sister changed my life. I cannot imagine it any other way. You may not talk. or walk. but you are mine. And Jesus used you to mold my heart. to mold my faith. to teach me of trust.

He used you to make my heart for those who cannot help themselves. He used you to teach me how to care for Abdurmon at the orphanage in DJ. He used you to give me patience. He used you to teach me to be joyful in every situation. He used you to teach me how to be a lover of people years ago. He knew what He was doing when He let you be mine.

He does miracles daily. and you are one of them. I cannot wait for the day you walk, sissy. We are getting you some goodlooking shoes.

You are my number one. You are it. I love the most in the whole world. And the man I marry- he will too- or I won't marry him. And my future kids will adore their Aunt J.

Keep being the best sister in the world. And I cannot wait to see how Jesus continues to heal you this year. Maybe you will even walk across the stage at church like we have had dreams about? Either way- your testimony is one that Jesus is using all over the world- and that excites me!

I don't know about everyone else, but YOU are feeling 22!