Friday, April 17, 2009

reminders 1, 2 & 3

Crazy Sara,

Here's the deal. I've got some things for you. Just some things I've been thinking about lately, things you should think about, keep in mind.

First, I know right now you're tired of school, you can't wait for Romania. You can't wait for about a hundred different things, and you're excited about every single one of them. And I know that school is overwhelming and you're frustrated with it, you're ready for something bigger--but I'm saying wait. Pause for a moment and look around. You see this? It's only here now. I'm not talking about ''you're only in college once,'' because while that's certainly true, I mean more than your college experience. I mean your conversations with your roommates, running into friends on campus. Being surprised that Bohemian Rhapsody is on your mp3 player because you'd forgotten and singing it out loud while walking home on a day way too cold for April. I mean that life isn't connect the dots, and you can't forget it. It's not making it from one dot to the next, one life goal to another. Don't you remember how frustrated you were in August, how much you didn't want to follow the same steps all your friends did as they graduated--it was good for them, but it wasn't what you wanted, you wanted something different. But neither is it swinging from Colombia to Mexico to Romania, and then where next? The in between isn't filler. The in between is what you're living, it's now and it's just breathing, it's saying thank you. I'm talking about not wasting now by living for something that, ultimately, you aren't living. Maybe you will be or you have, but are is neither of those--you know how that goes, you've heard it already. But remember it.

Second, you may not love Romania. In fact, you may have a horrible time there. Those three and a half weeks that don't seem nearly long enough now might be the hardest, longest weeks you've been through. You know how you are about food, how you'll hardly touch most vegetables. You know how picky and ridiculous you are, how difficult it's already been to eat Romanian food. I don't know and you don't know what it'll be like. It may be perfect--I'm guessing that it won't be. But what I'm saying is don't build it up too much. This is a wonderful, exciting, amazing opportunity, and hopefully you'll have an incredible time, and hopefully God will stretch you and teach you and bless you. I think God will do those things either way, but it might not be the way you want. This has the potential--the likelihood--to be really difficult and trying. And good. I'm just saying, don't build it up too much, be careful with your expectations because if you're not, the crash is going to be big and ugly and not fun at all.

And third. "I pray that God would surprise you with the joy he has waiting for you." You remember that? Your God is a faithful one. He is a God who heals and restores and makes good. This school year has been that. "You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy." (Psalm 30:11) How true that is, and how great is your God! Praise him because he is seeking after you and holding you and saving for you a place to be with him always. He is doing big things in your life, and only wants to bring you closer to himself. Your heart is his concern, your future is his. Sara, your God loves you infinitely and he chose you and he wants to fill you with joy and hope and promise. And he has redeemed you. "Fear not, for I have redeemed you." Isaiah 43:1 And he chose you to glorify him because of his love for you. So remember that while he gives you joy, he also takes the things that are hard and that hurt and that you don't understand and he uses them to show you how great he is, how much he loves you, how much he wants you as his own. He is a God who delights in restoring relationships, even ones with twenty year gaps. So remember that in this, though it might be years in coming, he will bring about goodness and joy. He's your father, your God. This is your hope, Sara, and it is in him.

Most sincerely,
the T in your INTP,

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