>> March 25, 2010
It's already Thursday - again.
Baseball season has started and with both boys playing in different divisions, it is practically 6 days a week with double duty on some nights.
Add that to Life Group, Worship Practice, Ballet class, not to mention homework, dinner, baths for the kids - it makes the days FLY by!
(I'll post some baseball pictures as soon as I can get them off the camera.)
And in the midst of all that, I'm still working on simplifying.
I've been working on cleaning up the computer hard drives, sorting out kids clothes that don't fit anymore, sorting out my clothes that don't fit anymore (ouch!), and organizing so much that needs organizing. I'm not done, but I'm working on this necessary step.
Clutter is such a distraction for me.
And sometimes it feels suffocating.
But as I simplify, I'm trying to hear God better.
And I want to share something He's done in the past month or so that has overwhelmed me with how amazing He is.
As I share this story, I know it probably won't have the same effect on you as it did on me, but try to imagine how you might have felt if you walked through this. And please don't think I am sharing this to tell you what I did. I'm sharing this to shout praise to God for what He did.
There is a family I know of because of the internet.
I don't know them personally. I don't even know their family or friends.
I happened upon their blog in my search to learn more about photography.
In the beginning of February they left Seattle for an almost 2 month vacation in Thailand. Its the place they go to get away from the hussle and bustle and be renewed by God. When I first read on FB that they were going again (they went last summer) I sensed God asking me to commit to pray for them every day while they were gone. I agreed, but I have to admit that I didn't do the best job of it. I often prayed as I was falling asleep, "oh yeah God, please be with Brian, MeRa and their kids and bless their time in Thailand."
That was a lame copout for what I felt God was really asking of me.
During their first week in Thailand, they were ill.
The second week they went to Cambodia to help out in an orphanage (which was a God thing). While they were there, they had a very scary moment being chased by apes in the jungle as they tried to navigate their way back to their hut.
When they returned to Thailand they were ill again.
By last week they were diagnosed with Dengue Fever.
Now let me take a break in their story to share where I was in the midst of this story and my commitment to pray for them...
On Wednesday, March 10, I woke up with a real burden for this family.
I knew I hadn't been praying the right way for them.
Yes, I had prayed, but only because I said I would, with the obligatory prayer above.
I was convicted about this and spent a good amount of time interceding the way I knew I was supposed to.
I got my prayer partner to join me in this and decided to fast and pray on their behalf on Sunday, the 14th.
This was posted on her blog on the 15th. And this was posted on the 16th.
But the post this last Tuesday was where God's glory shone so brightly for me as He revealed why He wanted me to pray, and how He was there in the midst of their suffering.
Here is an excerpt from a letter MeRa wrote to her brother...
Pascaline is about two days behind me. She is still suffering on and off. She has been such a trooper. I sat and cried in the doctor’s office and told him that we felt like our bones were breaking, and he told me the fever’s street name “The Bone Breaker”. It was comforting in a very disturbing but relieving way. I have never felt pain like this Shauni—ever. I have been in and out of delirium with faint memories of Brian putting cold washcloths all over me, trying to bring my body temp down to no avail. I have seen his eyes scared. It’s hard to see it in his eyes, and at the same time feel like the fever has taken me a hundred miles away. Yesterday morning Pascaline woke up screaming. She was screaming that her nose broke off. Her whole body was twisting and turning in pain. I had just been through it all night, and I held her and wept. There is no medicine. There is no immunization. Your body must simply let go. Everything in you wants to fight the pain away, but this only makes it worse. Brian sat above her, as he sat above me the last five nights, and whispered instructions to her as he gently held her legs down. “Pascaline, the fever has already lost. Don’t fight the pain. Let go and focus on this spot.” He laid his hand over her collar bone. “There is no pain there, and that is where God is resting. Rest with Him, and let the fever swallow you b/c I won’t let it take you. I will be on the other side.” To stop fighting the pain and let it pull you under like the sea’s undertow is overwhelming…but to feel like you won’t ever surface, to see the sheer fear in my baby’s eyes… As I held her, I couldn’t help but cry with a feeling of such helplessness. Our Thai housekeeper came up behind me. Her name is Cha, and she has the most beautiful smile in all of Thailand. She laid her hands gently on my shoulders and whispered words to me in Thai, comforting words that I couldn’t understand, but I knew she was speaking from one mother to another. And then something magical happened that I must back up to tell you about… We have monkeys here, as you remember. There are two kinds of monkeys, and then we also have Gibbon Apes. The Gibbon Apes are high up in the trees and give off a beautiful call in the morning. It’s like a whirling, siren noise that washes over you, repeating itself, with different apes joining in at different octaves, and the whole jungle is quiet as these beasts sing. They never come down to our house level, but you can see them with binoculars. And yet the other day, Pascaline was mimicking their sound off the back deck. And FIVE of them came down to the trees off our deck and watched us, mimicking back to her, swinging through the trees with such speed and fierce ability, your mouth dropped open. That morning, Blaze was fevering his worst. Yesterday, when Pascaline was screaming with pain, the Gibbons started singing. I didn’t notice at first until someone said something. Except they weren’t high up in the hills, they were all around the outside of our bedroom and back deck—watching from the trees. They were in the low trees and whooping their call so loud and so divine, it swallowed Pascaline’s screaming. It was then that she actually smiled with her eyes closed from the pain. “Can you hear them mom? They’ve come back down. I think they’re singing to me.” And so they were. I can’t explain how magical the moment felt with Cha whispering faith into my ear in an unfamiliar tongue, and Gibbons singing to my daughter, but I felt held by the jungle, held and not shunned by this fever any longer.
I am overwhelmed by how amazing our God is.
How amazingly He met this family.
How He burdened someone to pray for them, even though I don't know them.
How He taught me more about prayer and obedience in the midst of this.