I need to preface this by saying that I have the most incredible group of people in my life. I seriously cannot believe the kind of love, support and encouragement that has been shown to me in the past week that I have been in China and the days leading up to my trip. I have gotten letters, skypes, facebook comments and emails and messages from people that i don’t even know who are following my journey and praying for me along the way. But, I have to say that the most creative way that I have been shown love was from my dear friend, Ryan. In forensics (competitive speech and acting, which is what i do at school), competitors will perform literature from a small black notebook. As I was unpacking yesterday I found a small black notebook tucked in between my clothes. I thought it had gotten in there by mistake until I opened it and realized that it was filled with letters from people who are closest to me in life. I have never felt so loved by people outside my family. It was just what I needed. Ryan had gotten all of this together. I had very heartfelt messages, funny sayings and some hilarious poetry by the talented Davis Denney. However, as I was reading through this, laughing and crying, there was a phrase in one of the letters that has echoed through my head for the past 48 hours. “BE WILLING TO GO BEYOND EASY” I can’t really think of anything that sums up where I currently am in life any better. Many of you know that the past several weeks of my life have been anything but easy. In fact, they have been terribly painful. I am constantly asking God why life has to have such difficult seasons. And while I have gotten no difinitive answer, I do understand that those seasons make us who we are and show us what we are truly made of. That understanding doesn’t make it any easier or give it more reason or take the pain away. But I have come to a place where I am willing to go beyond easy if that is part of the plan for my life. It isn’t hard for me to become so frustrated at the fact that the plan for my life is still such a mystery. 10 years ago if anyone had asked me what I would be doing right now, my best bet probably would have been that I would be married and have at least 1 kid at this point. The last thing I probably would have guessed is that I would be sitting at an orphanage in China. (however from what I hear, sitting at an orphanage in China might be the easiest option of those 2) All that to say, I have been pushed out of my comfort zone, taken away from everything that is familiar to me, and suffered losses that I hoped I would never have to endure. My daily prayer is that I continue to be willing. No matter how much it hurts or where it takes me or what I have to leave behind. That is such a scary and uncertain thing to pray. But I can’t help but feel that I am a part of something so much bigger than myself. And I have to believe that a God who would put me in the middle of that, would make the burdens that go along with it so much lighter. I still don’t know what that bigger thing is or how it fits into the big picture. But I know in my heart that this is what I was Created for. I know that loving these children in an orphanage in Louyang, China is where I am absolutely supposed to be right now. And although my heart is in a very different place right now than it was 9 months ago when I signed up for this, it is exactly where it is supposed to be as well. So, as you pray for me, pray that I will fearlessly go beyond easy…but that the things that go along with that, might get a little easier.
Going beyond easy June 29, 2010