Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A season of... really???

I've felt God gently whispering here lately. Gently telling me what was next. He knew He must be gentle.. and He knew I wouldn't want to hear it.


.. you know how it goes. Fingers plugged in your ears screaming at the top of your lungs, making it practically impossible to hear anything and making it that way on purpose.

Because to be perfectly honest.. I did NOT want to hear what I was thinking I heard. I did not want it AT ALL. But still.. it was there ... that feeling... that whisper... THIS is what I have for you for now. THIS new season...

I know you are all wondering what this whisper was, some big change???? A change yes, but big.. no.

I have heard, have been convicted about my attitude of NOT wanting it, and finally have come to accept it, (Now.. I'm still not to the point of being THRILLED about it... ) but I feel the Lord calling me to a season of... me.

I know alot of people won't understand this.. I was one of those people at the beginning, but I believe those words are the exact words that HE placed on my heart. I was as I said earlier, completely against this at first. I fought and fought against it. It was completely selfish I thought. Never would I settle for a 'season of me' when there is still so much to be done, so much suffering. Instead I ached...(and believe me.. I STILL ache)... to open my heart and life to a little one. I had been counting down the months... and now I watch, a silent tear finding its way down my cheek, as that dream is put several years in the future... I accept, my heart literally breaking in my heart, that God has other plans for me. I fight the disgust that constantly tries to arise within me at this thought of this 'season of me'. And once again, I'm finding that the plan I had for my life... is far from what He has, and once again, I'm left not knowing what will happen.. again.. but this time, it seems a little more major. That feeling tries to come with more panic this time, more fear this time.

As part of this plan, the LORD was gracious and allowed me some time ago to inquire of and pass the entrance exam to Philippine Christian University, here in Manila. I am now in my second week there. I have classes 6 days a week and am working towards my BSW, Bachelor Degree in Social Work.

Does this mean ministry stops completely, absolutely not! The toddlers are usually my first stop when I come in the door. I will still be doing outreach at every opportunity, but that will mainly be limited to the weekends.

What this means is that for the time being, my life will again be one of homework, studying, research and quizzes.

What this means is that my heart breaks to just be away from them during the day, every day.

What this means is that I'm stepping back from alot of what used to be, and am stepping towards this new area of my life.

What this means is that I'm working towards something that will ultimately allow me to do further ministry and work for the LORD.

What this means is that... there is still a TON that God has in store for me during this time. Much of it has not been told to me yet, some has been whisphered, but for now, I'm learning the ropes for this new season.

A season I'm still trying not to resent. A season I'm still trying to embrace.

A season of me.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

We opened the curtains that morning...

I have struggled with whether or not to post this entry on my blog. This is such a private, extremely close to my heart story and part of me wanted to keep it all mine. But, it being so important to me, I knew I must share it, I must share her story, I must share the grace of God and His faithfulness that has been evident through all. You can learn more about Jellyn's story by visiting the Gentle Hands website or facebook page, where Ate C has written two posts about this precious little girl I came to love so much. Again, I pray that through all things, every word I speak, every touch I give, every blog I post.. may it ALL be to the glory of God! ~ To God Be the Glory

We had been up numerous times throughout the overall quiet night. And for some reason unbeknownst to me, the Lord inclined it upon my heart, to look to the curtain. I looked at the big windows that covered the length of the entire wall and then back to beautiful but tiny reason I was there in the room to begin with. Jellyn, as she lay in her hospital bed was staring at the curtains as well, tho she had never given them a glance before. I motioned and asked, in a language she wouldn't understand, "Do you want me to open them?" Catching my motions, she gave me raised eyebrows to indicate yes. So.. I pulled the curtains back and together we watched the sun come up over the big building next to the hospital. We watched, with the beating of the oxygen monitor in the background as color filled the sky.

We had been in the room exactly 1 week, learning how to communicate around our language barriers. She was broken, oh so broken. She had learned to rely on no one. She had a learned to wear a mask, a mask of a tough exterior, unaffected, but underneath.. oh so broken.

Once she knew that I wasn't going anywhere, that I wasn't going to harm her, she let the mask down. Underneath she was absolutely empty of love and affection. So, kisses were given in abundance, lotion mixed with love rubbed over limbs that had scarcely ever seen a gentle touch, the words that translated "I love you" were meaningfully whispered in her ear. In the moments when the pain was the worst, she would hold her arms up, longing to just be held. And so ... love was given, love was cherished, love was her's.

She had been struggling, but that afternoon the struggling took an intensifying turn. As I held her close, I saw it in her eyes, she was struggling and I felt it in my gut... it was too much. Knowing she wouldn't see the next morning, I tried to wrap my arms around her. Through her battle to breathe she uttered the words saying she wanted to be held, to sit in my lap.

I scooped her into my arms and we sat there for hours.

We sat, and we sang softly, one of the few tagalog songs I know. A song that talks of a Great and Good God, who loves us very much. We prayed. I told her that she didn't have to fight anymore if she didn't want to, that it was ok. I told her that she could go with Jesus and she wouldn't need to fight anymore. She looked at me, getting worse by the hour, and I uttered, it's ok. I kissed her cheeks for the millionth time. And then as her eyes wandered, she saw something, but it wasn't for everyone, it was just for her. With her gaze set, seeing something I was unable to see, I knew. I whispered to her... "You see Jesus don't you? It's ok... you can go. Go to Him" Soon after that, she closed her eyes and they remained.

Ate C arrived and we sat for hours in the quiet room as she went into a comatose state. Knowing the end result, we stayed just the same, we wouldn't leave her now.

We stayed by her side, my arm around her, both of us letting her know she was loved and once again, it was ok not to fight anymore. We told her it was ok to go to Jesus now.

And peacefully, she took her last breath.

I had struggled with why the Lord had not healed her.. had I not enough faith? had we done something wrong? But as we sat those last hours with her, the Lord showed me something... He had called her to Himself in Heaven the whole time, that part was never to change. I had been looking at this situation as if it were about us, it was not about us, it was about Jellyn.

Jellyn was going to heaven with or without us, but how would we want her to spend the last week of her life? How would we want her to pass? Scared, alone, unloved?

Instead the last week of her life was full of tenderness, prayer, hugs, kisses, a beautiful fluffy bear that was all her's, and all the love she wanted.

Ate C prayed with her one evening in the hospital, and Jellyn herself asked the Lord, "Lord help me, I'm having a really hard time."

Oh Sweet Jellyn, the Lord has heard your prayer, you will never again have a hard time, you will never again have to fight. You have found your peace in His arms!

~ To God Be the Glory!