Last night we got together with our small group for a farewell party. It was such a blessing to be with these friends (minus all the kids!) for a chance to reconnect, give updates on our lives, laugh and all sorts of good food. Darin and I were then privileged to be prayed for by this great group of people. Thank you for blessing us, loving us, and for challenging us as we get ready to head to Africa.
My new blog was a topic of much discussion and good natured joking. (No worries, someday you will ALL have your own blog, which I will proudly link others to through my blog). My "links" to other blogs were also much discussed, especially the fact that other than Lia's and Michelle's blogs, I do not personally know the people who write the blogs on my list. Why have I chosen these blogs, which are all stories of incredible sadness and pain? In the midst of all the heartache, these people have chosen to rely on and tell others about God's grace and love, about his goodness and mercy. They are all stories about faith that is being tested, but continues to grow.
I am sure by now that many of you have heard about the tragic loss of Steven Curtis Chapman's youngest daughter Maria Sue. I have been been following this story (and of course have a link to their blog) since it happened in May. Recently, the Chapman family was on Larry King Live. I watched the interview on YouTube recently and was really convicted by something that their daughter, Emily, shared. She was asked how she has been able to cope with the loss of her littlest sister, and she said it has been through God and his mercy. I won't try to give a direct quote, but she said that God's mercies have been new every morning and that he has given her enough mercy for each day. Wow.
I don't have a perfect life. Who does? However, I have been so very blessed and so often take for granted the life I am living right now. The life that God has chosen for me to live. When I read stories from other people who have been walking through the "valley of the shadow of death" on a daily basis, people who are facing life ending illnesses, the loss of a child, or children with multiple disabilities I usually end up crying. The tears, however, are not just for the difficulties that are being faced, but tears that I, who am living a "more perfect" life (by worldly standards) do not realize minute by minute how blessed I am.
So that is why, in a long nutshell, I am linked to so many blogs written by people I will probably never even meet. Amidst all the running around and stress of packing up our family for our time in Africa, I hope that I don't lose sight of God's mercies and faithfulness.