I’m sitting on my floor, laptop on my lap, avoiding the final bits of cleaning which need to be done. It’s been a good few days. Lots of stuff done, like cleaning, final visits with dear friends, two more boxes to the D.R. (hey, I should have realized that was going to happen!)
In less than three hours one of my friends is picking me up for our final small group. I’ll lock the door and 623 will no longer be my home. Of course, it hasn’t looked like home for more than a month. I’m spending the night with other friends who will take me to the airport early (early!) tomorrow morning. And then…!
Several people have asked me if it feels real, and honestly, it doesn’t! I guess I shouldn’t mock those who keep telling me, “Good luck on your trip” because in some ways it feels more like I’m just heading out for a while, not moving away for good!
How do I begin to say how much these past years have meant? I don’t really have the words to explain what it was like to arrive in Harrisonburg so broken and hurting. Shattered, in many ways. I didn’t know God then. I knew my heart was empty, but I didn’t realize the reason. Or, that healing and redemption was waiting.
God saw the Kim I was, understood my pain, loved me despite my unfaithfulness to Him, and then allowed me to be transformed by His love. I’ve shared before, it is only because I have been gifted with so many faith-filled friends that I am able to leave here.
Sure, there have been plenty of Yuck Duck moments. That’s the condition of our groaning, broken earth. But, our loving God has given me so many Yay Ducks! Oh, they were rich and lovely, and were, quite simply, God.
Each person has helped me to see God in new ways. I’ve been challenged to understand that God is not just how I understand Him. That along with a wideness in His mercy is a depth to His grace and love I only experienced through sharing with others. What a joy to discover – and keep discovering! that He gets bigger and bigger.
At MTI we read part of C.S. Lewis’ Prince Caspian, where Lucy sees Aslan. The other children stay asleep, but she wakes, and sees him, and rushes to throw her arms around him. She notices that he seems much bigger. No child, he tells her, I am not bigger, but each year you grow, I’ll seem bigger. (I’ve packed my English version, so the quote isn’t exact!)
It brings me to tears to think of how much bigger God is today than my, frankly, infantile idea of Him back then. He seemed bigger through Alpha, working at the church, my short-term trips to the D.R., Perspectives, mentoring, being mentored, loving others genuinely, and having them love the real me.
Over the past six months He’s grown even more (or, really, I have!). I try to imagine how I’ll see Him after time in Guatemala. How He’s going to keep getting bigger and bigger until He fills all the world. Of course, I cannot, because I haven’t grown there yet. As you grow, I’ll seem bigger, Aslan told Lucy. That’s my desire. That as I draw closer and closer to Jesus, He fills more and more of my vision. Until one day, I open my eyes, and all there is, is Him!
I pray, dear friends, that you, too, will sense His bigness. That the way you see Jesus today will not be the way you see Him months, or years, from now. Because you, too, will continue to see more and more of His bigness as you continue to grow. Let’s keep encouraging each other to do so. What a joy it will be when we can share our stories of our great God!
Okay, now I’ve got less than 2 ½ hours! Best get to it! The Lord willing, I’ll next write from Guatemala. Until then, may God bless you and keep you, may He make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. May His light shine in you and through you, and may you be filled with His peace, which passes all understanding – and all cultural/language barriers!!