Thursday, May 10, 2012

Something Beautiful

She walked down the aisle to the heart-warming song, "God gave me you," decked out in purest white gown and western headdress. The words of the song were thickly accented by the country singer, and her face shone with love and devotion that only came from walking through life's trials with the man she was about to more permanently continue through life with, forever until death should separate them. Love, joy, and a long sigh of relief. Her dream was finally coming true.

pure joy

A little 4 year old boy met his mother for the first time since arriving at the orphanage 3 years ago. The first child I made a heart connection with as I cuddled him through a bad case of malaria, and many more times through cases of lonely tears. After 3 years of longing, heartbreak, and feeling lost and alone, he is reunited with his mother. Home, in his forever home, at last.


The sun rose over the horizon just as we sang of Christ's resurrection and the power of His salvation that Easter morning. A group of us stood and sat in a cluster around her hospital bed, worshipping the Father with our dear friend and offering her our love in hopes to restore some strength to her weary soul. God's Spirit filled the small hospital room, and not only restored souls, but ignited them with joy, too.

simply heavenly

She smiled big and beautiful as she opened the door to her home and pulled me inside with boisterous exclamations of welcome and delight. Her daughters all greeted me warmly, and the oldest pulled me into the kitchen where she'd just finished cooking chicken for her family. The taste reminded me of Uganda, despite being made in an Asian home, and we talked cooking for a good while until her sisters arrived. Mother and daughters sat with me and chatted in Burmese and English interchangeably (so I only spoke English...bummer!), daughters translating for mom when her thoughts were too complex for her english skills. I left their home with promises of returning for dinner with the family soon, and a warm heart.

my beautiful friend <3

A quiet, gentle, yet strong woman sits with me as we sip pink lemonade on a Sunday afternoon, and she pours out her heart to me. I listen quietly, responding with smiles or concerned sounds when appropriate, and occasionally inserting encouragement and opinions. Her two little boys know me well, and are content with ignoring us; its a good thing, too, for what is on this woman's heart this day is deep and complex, and sad and full of the unknown. I in turn share some of the hard, ugly stuff of my heart that leaves me with nothing but acceptance of my own inability to ever measure up. We both cry tears of frustration over some of life's trials and our own stupid mistakes, but remind each other of God's grace and faithfulness. We praise God for His mercy, and when I tear myself away she farewells me by kissing both cheeks lightly, wrapping my up in her warm jacket (for, silly me, I neglected to dress appropriately for the northern weather), with urgings to 'come again, my sister, and soon.'

Flowers from our friend for Connie!

His face finally dawned recognition at the second glance, quickly followed by surprise and joy-his oldest girl was home! Five long months of separation, and a two-day early surprise arrival were just the sort of combination to create laughter and joy and a good evening in our home that day. Which was followed by 8 more days of adventures, chatter, fun and good family bonding times.

we celebrated a birthday :)


All of the above events have happened just in the past month, and I'm sure I have forgotten many more which I could share with you. On the surface they certainly don't seem like a group of stories you would usually put together, but each one is actually my plan B for the particular situations...and in some cases even all the way down to plan Z. For each wonderful tale, I have another, less cheerful tale of a failed plan, plot twists, dark, and sometimes even evil, events that took each story in a direction that held no apparent promise of any sort of good ending. The prequels to these stories are full of pain and heartache, sin and disappointment, sickness and hopelessness.

But through it all-pneumonia, abandonment, fleeing countries, separation from family, loss, stupid decisions, frustration, impatience, you name it-God triumphed over all.

"But the Lord's plans will stand forever; His ideas will last from now on." Psalm 33:11

The plans I had in mind might not have come to fruition, but the plans that God ordered and directed were certainly much better than any I could have ever come up with.

"'I say this because I know what I am planning for you,' says the Lord. 'I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.'" Jeremiah 29:11

The stories still hold much pain and hard times, but God is there. His glory shines through it all.

"The sufferings we have now are nothing compared to the great glory that will be shown to us." Romans 8:18

This month has taught me: whatever jumbled-up-mess the events of life look like, God is at work and can use even the ugly to make something beautiful. And, not only is He certain to work all things for good and for His glory, He is EAGER to do so! What a mighty God we serve!

"The Lord wants to show His mercy to you. He wants to rise and comfort you. The Lord is a fair God, and everyone who waits for His help will be happy." Isaiah 30:18

"He has glory and majesty;
He has power and joy in His temple.
Praise the Lord, all nations on earth.
Praise the Lord's glory and power;
Praise the glory of the Lord's name.
Bring an offering and come to Him.
Worship the Lord because He is holy."
1 Chronicles 16:27-29


  1. beautifully expressed, my love. :)

  2. Wait!!!! Is that Ddembe????? Oh my word! I'm gonna cry! My sweet boy!!!! You stay connected so well!!!! But Sheesh - where was my text about this?? ;-) Love you!! <3

  3. Yes dear, it is Ddembe :) DANYNE POSTED ON FACEBOOK, DUDE! ;) I'm not THAT good ;)