Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dear God.......

Lives are lived and changed in every moment. Compassion International has played a big part of my life in the last several years and many of you have asked me questions and listened to me talk. This week Compassion has challenged us to write a letter to God and get passionate with Him.  So forgive me for ignoring you all for a few minutes.  I will take a lesson from some Ugandan youngsters I met and block out everything to speak to God.  You are welcome to readdrop(eavesdrop)!  Er before I start keep clicking here and praying for those children waiting for their sponsor.  So far your prayers and positive thoughts have been working - 837 sponsorships down and 2271 to go.
Dear God
How patient you have been waiting, coaxing, pushing, prodding this mere existence of a human form. One who lived with a purpose of self, desiring to control my surroundings merely to exist and survive in this world. Never questioning the purpose of my creation, just existing. You were always in my corner watching, waiting, loving, forgiving and redeeming. I have extreme gratitude for your perseverance of working with slow learners. Working ever so carefully opening my eyes, weaving your thoughts into mine, and piercing through the broken layers of my heart. In 2002 you placed all of those smiling faces of Compassion children in front of me but I was too intent on healing my brokenness by myself. One long year later, in 2003, you pushed deeper and I took that first tender baby step into this winding journey of purposeful living. You watched as Sara, my daughter, picked out Firehiwot from Ethiopia. My thoughts focused more on how this will be a good thing we are doing. We will be helping someone else. Yet you waited and watched with an ever so slightly hint of a smile knowing before I was formed in my mother’s womb what you had for me. A smile that a loving Father has for His daughter who knows that there are lessons to be learned. Two more years passed waiting for me to let go of self and change. Firehiwot waited with you longing for a word from a sponsor who was too busy to write more than two letters. But Firehiwot prayed, the Holy Spirit groaned in accordance with your will and you infiltrated deeper into the corners and fringes of my soul. In 2005 you stretched me to a new level adding Elmer to our Compassion family. As I worried about being able to support another child you knew I needed another prayer warrior to bring me closer to you.

News came that Firehiwot failed to pass her fifth grade in school and you met me there full on letting me know it was I who had the bigger failure as I did nothing to encourage this precious gift you had given to me. You extended mercy and forgiveness and transformation showing me the power of relationship with you through others. I started to write and relationships grew and strengthened and I became less of my former self. Then there was the word advocate that you whispered in the shower, you whispered in the car, through the radio, in the quiet moments of the day and the chaotic symphony of living. Advocate for the least of these? No thank you, no one will listen, it will be hard, I don’t think I can ask others for money? Still you waited patiently and you pushed through my fear with scripture and continued to whisper advocate ….. advocate…. aDVOCATE. I doubted and you pushed, I tested and you walked me through every door. You did not abandon me even when I was ready to give up. Then came the leap into advocacy and a bigger Compassion family, You knew from the start that I needed them more than they needed me. Their prayers driving me towards you like the snow on a wild winter night whipping into the windshield at 55 mph. Those prayers sustained me as my daughter Sara walked out of my life with nothing but a note on the kitchen table becoming a prodigal for a long year not knowing where she was but knowing that you would keep me in perfect peace if I trusted in you and fixed my thoughts on you.

Through Compassion's ministry you have exposed your very presence. You have connected me with Compassion Advocates who radiate your Holy Spirit. They have encouraged me and prayed for me and inspired me to seek you out. The Compassion Blogger’s have taken me further into the depths of the dark places, reducing me to a huddling lump of tears sucking away any word I could dare utter on more than one occasion. Questioning how to they do it? How do they survive? Then showing your shining light through the people they meet urging me to take action. You have opened my ears to your words through countless speakers. Exodus 16:17-18 became part of my DNA as Shaun Groves brought those words to life …”everyone had just enough”. My eyes took in the “One Act” video. I can still hear Michelle, a Leadership Development student confess how her own family told her she would never be anything but a thief and a drug addict but her sponsor told her she was beautiful, she could be anything and that she loved her. Then you delivered my own Firehiwot’s letter with these simple words “I understand that you love me”. The world stopped, not a sound could be heard, my eyes back tracked as I read those words again. This time it was me, you and Firehiwot and the words “I understand that you love me”. Then I stood on the red, dusty, African clay. Florence and her mother Lillian slowly approached me with quiet shy smiles on their face. Florence looked away shyly her eyes turned down to the ground. Her mother in the first five minutes of us meeting looked me straight in the eye and spoke the only English words of the day – “How is Sara doing?” She had prayed for my prodigal daughter aiding in the journey back to me. The rest of the world fell away and became a very small place as there we were two mothers who were simply loving their kids, hoping for the best. It was as if we had known each other all of our lives.

Where can I find the words to thank you for allowing me to witness present day miracles as I watch in amazement how you match up sponsors and children at packet passes and events. The two energetic high school girls approached the table, happy to be at a summer music festival with friends, far from the four walls of a classroom. They pointed at some of the child packets and would comment on the country or the child. They look over at me quickly and one said her family sponsored a child already and the other wished she could. In my usual fashion I thanked them for stopping by the table for sponsoring and told them if it was in God’s plan she would definitely sponsor some day but they could help by praying over any of the children. Her friend poked her in the ribs and said you know that boy you were looking at. She promptly left and went over to pray over the child that you had connected her with. I was distracted by another couple that walked up to the table with a question. A few moments must have passed and another young girl walked over to me with a child packet and said I would like to sponsor this young boy. And then I heard it! A big OOOOOOHHHHHHHH. I looked and Lord you already know who I saw. It was the girl who had went less than 5 minutes ago to pray over the boy you had connected her with. This boy that another complete stranger was standing there with wanting to sponsor. These lives were now connected through pray, a miracle witnessed. We shared the story with all of them and lives were forever changed.

It is all of these precious unique individual gifts that complete a piece of my life’s tapestry showing me the purpose of my creation. Each of these children, their families, the experiences from other advocates and Compassionating at engagements are all golden threads in the picture. Slowly releasing me from myself and this materialistic world that distracts me at every turn. I pray for your continued vigilance on this journey and thank you for allowing me to live long enough to get a glimpse. I fall to my knees in gratitude unworthy of your love and patience that surpasses my understanding. Grateful for you weaving Compassion into the fabric of my life and exposing to me your saving grace and a purpose beyond self with heroes seldom thought of as heroes. My Compassion family are the heroes.
Your loving daughter

Won't you keep praying and for these children and their future sponsors - Change lives with Compassion!

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