Last Couple of Weeks

They seem like a bit of a blur, these last couple of weeks. Nothing too exciting. In reality, I think I'm in the midst of the winter blues, perhaps even a touch of seasonal depression. I'm so done with winter and cold and grey and dreary. More so than any previous winter. Not sure why it's hitting so hard this year.

But today I got a couple bursts of goodness. Amanda and Angela, two of my "Irian kids" arrived in Chicago for a visit. Along with Joy, we spent the entire day hanging out, laughing, reminiscing. I love that. Tonight we sat around the table talking "third-world-stories" just laughing at the hilarity of the many adventures we have each landed in. We let Maddie stay up late and she sat with us at the dining room table, listening to all our crazy adventures. I LOVE that she has a tonne of aunties and uncles living all over the world.
I saw her cuddled in with Amanda and Angela today and it was just one of those bizarre moments. I have a daughter now. And Amanda is the age I was when I went to Indonesia back in '96. Craziness.

Irian was SUCH an important part of my life, I find that I come alive when I'm with Irian connections... I'm not sure I can even explain it really. In this insane sort of way, I feel like I'm home ... and it was only my home for 3 years. It just makes me feel warm and fuzzy and happy. Brings me back to an amazing place in my life. I've had so much fun the last couple of weeks posting Irian pics on Facebook - reconnecting with so many kids. Hearing great stories connected to great pictures connected to great memories.

And then my other burst of goodness today was the email I received from my friend, Alice, saying that her mom's cancer was most likely NOT as rapidly fatal as first diagnosed last week.

Alice is my closest friend from my years at Moody.

I met her on the elevator at Moody, and come to find out, we got off on the 4th floor of the same dorm, and walked in the same direction and ended up being next-door-neighbors that year. We were, I believe, instant kindred spirits. She loved Van Halen. She didn't like nonsense rules, of which there were plenty. She was an 'outside-the-box' kind of gal and she loved to laugh and have a good time. Whew. I wasn't sure there were others like me at THE Moody Bible Institute. But I found Alice.

Because my parents were in Canada, Alice's family took me in and I spent all sorts of holidays and weekends and summer days in their home over my four years at Moody. They were my 'home-away-from-home.' Honestly, I felt like I was their second daughter.
Alice and her mom, Lois, at Alice's baby shower for Lucy, her first-born.

So when Alice emailed about her mom's situation last Tuesday night I wept for a long, long time. I cried myself to sleep that night. I woke up in the middle of the night crying. And then woke up crying Wednesday morning. Random times over the last week I have found myself deeply, deeply sad and weepy for Al's family. My heart broke for Alice. For her mom. For her dad and her brother. And for Alice's two sweet daughters, Lucy and Elaine.

So when I opened up email tonight, I was blown away that the doctors were cautiously optimistic that perhaps she might have more time with her family than originally anticipated. I once again burst into tears. Sobs, if you want to know the honest truth.

You see, I spent a great deal of time praying this last week. I asked the Lord to constantly remind me to pray, and especially to wake me up in the middle of the night if Lois needed prayers to carry her through the excruciating pain. {And as a side-note, if you pray that prayer, He will remind you often. I love that - one of my favorite prayers to pray when someone is in deep need of prayer.} And I believe in the power of prayer. I have NO DOUBT that God hears our prayers. I have been crying out to God to give Alice more time with her mom. One more Easter together, Lord. {Easter is Alice's absolutely favorite day of the year.} And please Lord, one more Mother's Day. She needs her mom. And please Lord, let Alice have her mom around in June, to spoil her for her 40th birthday. Please Lord. Please. Would you do that for Alice, Lord?

So, tonight, when I opened up Alice's email, I was reminded of the loving heart of God. Absolutely loving. I felt like HE heard my cries this week and quite honestly, I needed to know that He heard me. Discouragement has run deep the past few weeks but God walked alongside and said, "I hear you, Alysa.

I am HERE.

I CARE.

I LOVE Alice and her mother.

I PROMISE."

If you're interested in reading Alice's posts on her mother's situation, grab yourself some tissue and go here for the first entry and here for tonight's entry. And as you think of it, please, please pray for Lois.

Isaiah 40:29-31 "HE gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who HOPE in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Comments

Kacie said…
Oh, how fun that Angela and Amanda visited! Irian is such a strange thing, isn't it? The connection really is ... weird. I mean, it's even different then what other missionary kids talk about.
Danny Lucas said…
It was no accident that lifted two spirited young women four floors in an elevator on campus.

It was no accident that they walked the dorm floor together and became friends of the heart.

It was no accident that both would walk the corridors of their lives in different locations, but still meet in their hearts together, holding on to the love initially established.

The steps of the righteous are ordered by God.

Many find that walking up a mountain is difficult to do. In reality, once the summit is mastered, the descent is more difficult.
Each step up is a release from gravity. Each step of return is an increase of gravity, and the tumbles of life increase at the descent times.

You are a good friend indeed, to lift Alice and her family in prayer, instead of an elevator as in days of yore.

When my own mom died last year, she was in a Catholic funeral. The priest walks around the casket, waving a censer holding hot coals and fragrance incense. The waving in all directions sends the smoke hurling in whisps. I noticed that wherever you are in church, the fragrance was immediately smelled. Apparently, the sense of smell is faster than the speed of sound.

My brother was also pallbearer and was upset, as he thought they were doing "voodoo" on mom.

I told him the action was Biblical from Revelations 5:8:
"And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints."

Golden bowls full of incense, which are.....the PRAYERS of the saints.

Apparently, like a shark can smell a drop of blood in the water 10 miles away and homes in on the source, at times, our Heavenly Father inhales urgent prayers of the saints....and his answer is in His exhale.

I thank God He has exhaled more life for Lois, more faith into a friendship, and more love in a family.

I loved your prayer for Alice and Lois. And your recipe to pray, to remember to pray as needed NOW, is a spiritual culinary delight for the soul to behold.

I join you in those prayers, for though I have never lifted four floors in an elevator with Alice, she has lifted me far higher in her own prayers, and reflections of Christ in deed and action. I look forward to meeting you in heaven.

Expect a miracle.
Last I heard, they are STILL, His specialty!

God bless you abundantly.
Danny Lucas

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