Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The relentless pursuit

Sweet Alice,

                I felt compelled to write this letter to you, because of all you have come to represent to me. You have come to represent the very real, relentless, and determined pursuit of God. You have come to represent his provision, his love, and how he will always make a way. I met you back in August 2011, at a orphanage. And instantly we clicked, as you took no reservation to come and sit down next to me, and begin to chat with me. We found so many things in common, and that bond was quick and intense. I remember going home and hanging your picture up on my wall, along with Josianne and Alysse. I would always say "And these are my two Alice's."

                What I did not know that day you came and sat down next to me, how the Lord would bring us back together in some incredible ways. I never knew the challenges, tears, laughter, and hope we would someday walk through together, the honor the Lord has permitted me to walk alongside you in. I never knew, but he did. He knew that day you sat next to me and said "Hi, I am Alice, what's your name?" that, he would do amazing things years down the road. It was by no accident, and the Lord had so much in store. I can only imagine the expression of the Lord, the smile, as he knew his plans for the future.

                Randomly one day on the bus, you saw me. I hate to admit that I did not recognize you. It had been so long, and I just assumed I would probably never see you again. Little do I know of the plans of God. But instantly you recognized me, once again sat down next to me, and our conversation took off. You remembered all about that day, and again I was excited, and praised the Lord to have contact with you again. I thought the miracle of just seeing each other again had happened. But bigger and better things, bigger miracles did the Lord have in mind. Never once taking his gaze off you, never once faltering in his desire to work in and through your life. Never once having stepped away.

                Then you came to live in my house. I remember you had been there maybe a week, and surprisingly there was no stress as the next school term was approaching, and I had no idea, no clue, how in the world the finances would be there for you to go to school. I had not seeked out a sponsor, I had not seeked out to provide in my own means. But trust alone, and I knew somehow that God had it covered. And he did. As a friend from America was staying at my house at that time, and approached me about sponsoring you. His provision continued to cover you.

                And then the laughter that we shared soon turned to concern and worry. As you had gone to the doctors a few times at school, and apparently you were not getting better. You came home, and within an hour, I knew something was terribly wrong. I knew something was not right, and my concern for you rose. I prayed, and sought out medical help here, in which as you knew from just my facial expressions in those clinics, I was less than pleased. Getting you on the back of the moto, and finally back to the house. The next day we were going to Kigali, to find some answers. I wanted you back, back to your smiling, talented, witty self.

                I once had a dear friend tell me, how intimacy is formed the strongest through trails. There is something to be said for the bond that is formed in laughter, and similarities, or even drawn through differences. But there is a strength in the bond that is formed in both laughter and tears. And this my girl is the bond that was beginning to form. As you layed on the ER bed in the hospital in Kigali, my heart sank, my voice raised a few times, as a determination filled this girl, to find some answers, to have you back to healing.   

                The next day, they found some masses on a ultrasound, and then a CT scan confirming, and then other tests. You dear sweet beloved of the Lord, had four large tumors, causing all kinds of damage, interfering in all kinds of things. I slept in a plastic lawn chair next to your bed, tears fell on your hospital sheets, and I utter some desperate cries in that plastic chair, and got a little bit of sleep. Up, down, tears, claiming scripture over you. Surgery was scheduled, and you were going to go in for surgery.

                Never before sweetness, have I ever felt so helpless. Knowing all I could do is trust the Lord, and trust the medical system in a third world country. As I paced that surgical floor, as you were in surgery for NINE hours, as I stared at the light in the surgical theater. My mind went all kinds of places. But one thing that has stuck with me, is that, that day you sat next to me in that orphanage, crocheting, smiling, making chit chat, the Lord knew. He knew he would burden my heart, he knew I would come back, and he knew that he would bless me and honor me, and use me, to be his vessel. Because he just loves you so much, and has such huge plans for you. He knew. It blows my mind to think that on that day, he knew. He knew.

                I remember when the word cancer was being tossed around. I remember sitting on your bed, us crying, and reminding you, that God is going to deliver you. That we just didn't know how yet. And how he had provided for you thus far, and will not leave nor forsake you. I remember that so clearly, so vividly, so strongly.

                And now the bond has been cemented much deeper, through prayers, trust, tears, and laughter. And sometimes when you are not paying attention, I catch myself staring at you, and overwhelmed at what you represent. You my dear sweet girl, represent the relentless pursuit of a big and loving God. You represent to me his provision. And you remind me how his gaze never diverts, his love never falters, and his plans always bigger than we know. And then you notice me staring at you, so I make that face, you know, that face, that always makes you laugh, and I thank the Lord for His goodness, his provision, his relentless love.

                And for me, you, every person God has lovingly, fearfully, and wonderfully knit together. Everyone of us who God has formed, he did so with a purpose. And for each of us, his heart longs, and he is jealous Alice. He is jealous for every last one of us. In a way I know a tiny fraction of. And I rejoice, I rejoice in his provision and relentless love. And I look at you, and I remember. I remember just how big, how incredible, and how loving our Abba father is. And I praise him, for the gift of you. And the bond cemented in much more, than it ever would have been, had it been forged only in laughter, and chit chat. But forged together in intense prayer, trust, tears, and seeing the very hand of God.

Lots of love,


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