Friday, June 15, 2012

On Meeting Jesus in South Aisa

I will never forget the first time I met you. Probably because you scared me to death. We were meeting Heather to sign our leases—I saw you coming, perfect blonde hair blowing in the breeze, stylish and all put together, those big white sunglasses covering your face, leaving me plenty curious about the girl behind them. Yes, you frightened me a bit.

I really don't recall our first week or so as roommates, the conversations we might have had, the thoughts I had as I got to know you. I do remember, however, the countless times you let me blab and blab about my crazy life, just listening because you knew I needed to blab. I remember when I made you go to the hospital because you couldn't admit your black leg needed help. I remember the pounds I gained as a result of your love for baking. I remember laughing at your—lack—of a filter...constantly? I remember when you and K stayed up all night stringing soda tabs together for me. I remember the many silent house meetings in which I could only laugh at your stubbornness. I remember 6am classes we just struggled to stay awake through. I also remember the Spirit that I believe has been at work within you these past two years—I remember seeing glimpses along the way. I remember the battle being so evident.

We have walked through a whole lot of life these past two years, you and me. A lot of hurt, confusion, and doubt. We have both wondered around with shackles dragging the ground, enslaved. We have cried together—yes even YOU. We have prayed and begged God to move in one another's lives. We have opened His Word together and let it fill us. We have learned Truth and forgotten. We have learned to work through conflict and forgive. We have tasted dying to ourselves. We have messed up, failed miserably at loving gracefuly. But still, two years later, by His grace He plopped us both on a plane and took us across the world. And the whole time I wondered why??

Each week leading up to departure, I was dumbfounded again and again when I asked and you said that you were still committed—and excited. I'll be honest, it shocked me that you got onto that plane. It confused me. It frustrated me even—not because I didn't want you to come, but because it made no sense that you would. But I was grateful for the opportunity to spend time with you, to find closure of sorts to our two years of doing life together. At least, that's what I thought.

Day 11

Well, I can't say I ever expected this day to come—though I have spent hours praying for it for several years now, I still doubted I'd ever see it. Tonight was part two of our revival in the mountains. Last night A and I shared our testimonies. Tonight it was the other two girls' time to share. All morning R was on edge, zoned out and very stoic. I had sort of been just waiting for this day to come, knowing that it would—the day it was her turn to testify to His goodness. Mainly because I wanted to hear what exactly she would share, quite curious of what God was doing in her heart recently. 

The morning came and went quickly, as we were busy with a medical clinic and meeting nationals. After lunch the girls took refuge in our room to rest. That was the first time I asked her how she was doing. I just remember she wouldn't even look up at me but simply replied, "Not good. I have nothing to say." I was quiet for a minute, slightly taken aback. Our conversation drew in the others' attention as well. I suggested a few places in scripture that she could use that I thought related pretty well to where she was at. She was silent. 

After talking well into the afternoon, at a loss for words we prayed for her. I begged God to make Himself known to her in a way that she could articulate, relate, to these people. I carefully asked Him to reveal if the frustration was coming from a lack of words or perhaps a lack of a testimony to begin with. Even as I spoke the words in front of her, I feared her reaction. Surprisingly, at the conclusion of our prayers, she said nothing but looked so defeated. We had to leave to go to the next thing. I walked downstairs and turned to J and told her that I give up—I don't know what else I can say, how much more bold I can be, how I could possibly break through her walls. I felt defeated and sad. After two years, I had hoped for a different ending. Being in South Asia period, I had been praying for months for a different ending. So had a whole army back home.

We got home from visiting some nationals, with just minutes until the revival began. I was in the kitchen attempting to make spagehtti—yes in the middle of no where India. It failed miserably, but that's besides the point. Someone came and told me that R was pretty upset. I knew this already—I mean I would be too if I knew I had to deliver a message in minutes and had nothing to say. Eventually, I made it upstairs to check on her. I found her in our room, face to face with my adopted dad and J, deep in conversation and tears flowing. 

I quickly plopped down beside her, knowing immediately what was going down, but unable to actually comprehend it. It was as though I was in a really, really sweet dream. Kevin had just finished laying out the gospel and salvation, explaining some truth to her, leaving the decision out there. She swept up the gift immediately, confessing her sin to the Lord before us and telling Him of her need for a Savior because she just couldn't bear the weight of life in a fallen world apart from Him any longer. She told Him that she no longer wanted to be in control of her life, that she needed Him. She told Him that she was all in—committed to the weight of following Him for the remainder of her time on this earth. Arms around her, I wailed like a baby the whole time, out of control. 

Today R accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. I must say that while I have prayed and prayed and waiting for this day, I really did not beleive or trust He was able. Yet who am I? Jesus, you are so faithful. You alone redeem. You alone draw men to yourself. Lord, please forgive me for ever thinking I could do anything apart from you, for ever doubting that you could—that you would! 

R, after two years of doing life together, lots of rejoicing, lots of hurts, lots of tough conversations, I praise God that covered in the dirt and stickiness of India, He would choose in His grace alone to draw you to Himself. What a privalage it was to witness it. Thank you for being willing to allow Him to rule over your life. Thank you for being humbled, broken enough to finally surrender. It will be hard but He is faithful and ever patient. He is worth it, R. I am so proud of you. Your faith humbled me today, reminded me of my need for His grace just as much as yours...I don't have it all together like I convince myself I do so often. I am here always, sister. This is just day one of the rest of your life! You need not go at it alone. Rejoicing in His faithfulness on display through you today.

Two days after coming to Christ, Rach stood up with me to preach the word to teenagers at a church in Dehli. Two weeks after coming home, it is not easy to transition back to the "real world"for any of us, but I am completely confident that her decision to follow Christ is evident in her life back home already. I am looking forward to weekly lunches and digging into the book of James together this summer. More then anything I am so incredibly excited at what God is doing in her heart, the freedom she is only tasting, the weight lifted, the trails and suffering that are coming which will produce a harvest of righteousness, the purpose to which He has called her being revealed by the Spirit who lives in her. Oh, mylanta I am so excited to do life with this sister—and STILL so in awe and humbled by the faithfulness of our God. His grace is enough to save. His power is perfected in our weaknesses.

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