Sunday, June 12, 2011

I Got Married!

While there are not enough pages in cyber space to recount the journey I've taken during the last 18 months, suffice it to say that a lot has been going on in my personal life - which, at least in part, accounts for the decreased number of blog posts.

In January 2010 my entire world was turned upside down. While I was in the U.S. celebrating the holidays with my family and friends, Collins McCraw informed me that after six months of prayer he was sure that I was the woman he was supposed to marry. For so many reasons this was a complete shock to me, not the least of which was that I had moved to Iquitos to start a new life and a new career here. Isn't that just like God? To interrupt my plan with His own?

Collins and I embarked on a journey that would change us, and many people around us, forever. We have faced obstacles and encountered hardships that we never imagined would come our way; and we have known joy and deep peace like no other time in our lives as well. We have learned what it means to keep our eyes focused on God and move forward one step at a time while a storm is raging around us. A number of years ago an older woman that I was in a prayer meeting with approached me and told me she had a word from the Lord for me. She held my face in her hands and looked intently, deliberately into my eyes as she spoke the simple but profound words that I have never forgotten: "The waves are crashing all around you dear one. You will feel like you are drowning. But have no fear, because you will look at Jesus and you will walk on water. Tears come at night, my love, but joy surely does come in the morning." Other than recognizing the biblical images and references in her words, I had no idea why she was speaking them to me. At that point my life was on an even keel, I was happy and content, and everything was going my way. Not too far into the future, though, the waters would become choppy and I would go back to those words repeatedly to get me through that particular moment's trial. But it wouldn't be until Collins and I began our relationship that I would understand the fullness of her prophetic phrases.

As I begin anew with my blogging efforts, parts of my story with Collins will surface as God reveals to me, one piece at a time, the purpose of that leg of the journey and how it fits into the big picture of His perfect plan for me. I have come to understand in a new way that the events of my life are not compartmentalized into personal and professional; they are not categorized into friends, family, colleagues and enemies. Rather they are all intricately woven together to create a work of art. God takes even the most severely broken pieces of my life and turns them into something stunning. The exchange of beauty for ashes is breathtaking.

God has always known the deep desire of my heart to find a soul mate and to be married; but, he also knows my tendency to lose sight of Him and to allow my priorities to become disordered. So He delivered the answer to a lifetime of prayers in such a way that He, and only He, would receive the glory. He took me down a path that would not allow Collins to become the object of my worship. I can say with absolute certainty that you would not be looking at the picture below if I had not kept my eyes fixed completely on God over the past year and a half. I know Collins would say the same.

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." ~ Jeremiah 29:13. My life's verse has taken on a whole new meaning for me and that is that God is present even in the darkest moments, but I can't see Him if I'm not looking for Him. While it is true that in the marriage relationship a man and woman are to pursue each other and make each other a priority, it will all be wasted energy if each is not first actively pursuing the most significant love of all in a deep and abiding relationship with the God of the universe.

I leave you today with these words:
To God be the glory for the things He has done…
A Dios sea la gloria por lo que hizo por mi…

April 16, 2011

Recommended Reading

  • The Bible
  • Serving with Eyes Wide Open - Doing Short Term Missions with Cultural Intelligence - David A. Livermore
  • Cross-Cultural Servanthood - Serving the World in Christlike Humility - Duane Elmer
  • Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (And How to Reverse It) - Robert D. Lupton
  • When Helping Hurts-Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor...and Yourself - Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert
  • Shadow of the Almighty - Elizabeth Elliot
  • Messy Spirituality - Michael Yaconelli
  • The Irresistible Revolution - Shane Claiborne
  • Peace Child - Don Richardson
  • If God Should Choose - Kristen Stagg
  • In the Presence of My Enemies - Gracia Burnham
  • Inside Afghanistan - John Weaver
  • Same Kind of Different as Me - Ron Hall and Denver Moore
  • Through Gates of Splendor - Elizabeth Elliot
  • End of the Spear - Steve Saint