I finished my dinner and wandered down through the far front of the ship and up the stairs to a place that I knew would lead me to life. I'd been cooped up in meetings all day and I needed to come up for breath. The Bow. I love this place. It's a place that richly displays both magnificence and beauty; peace and solitude; awe and majesty. As I leaned over the railings and hung my head down to enjoy one of my most favourite sights, the waves crashed and revealed a million shades of blue and an almost glass like almighty splash. I looked up and saw a pod of dolphins leaping before me. Is this normal? Who gets to do this?
Only a few days before I had been lamenting on the 'cost ' of being here. I was reflecting on a 3 week summer break at home that was far richer than I could begin to describe. I was so grateful to be loved, to love, to be home and to soak in the array of fresh delights poured out by my Maker. The scents of summer flowers and tastes of berried fruit were lingering in my heart to the point of feeling a little overwhelmed and I realized again: it gets harder to say goodbye every time.
My heart was full of thanks, but as I curled up in my little cabin, I couldn't help but long for a window to send me a fresh breeze carrying sweet birdsong and I was forced into realizing that the cost of spending another year in this steel can is actually... very real. I don't tell you so you can feel sorry for me or think how great I am - I am more than aware that you make huge sacrifices too. They look different, but I know you make them. But I guess you'd tell me, 'it's worth it' and the same is true for me. I love Jesus and no matter what the cost - no matter how much harder it gets to say goodbye - no matter how much I desire fresh breeze or a homegrown raspberry to pass through my lips - it's worth it.
So as I take in the sights of our 13 day sail and look to all that is ahead in Congo and as I reflect on all the beauty that I have said goodbye to, I know it's worth it. And that's what my God says to me too - 'my love, you're worth it all'. It brings me to my knees as I realize how He has rescued me and that my measly sacrifices are nothing compared to His.
I look forward to another year of seeing Him live and breathe and move and bring transformation to the community I live in as well as to the patients we will get to work with. I have just come in from laying on deck looking up at the stars and I'm wondering if it would have been possible to squeeze one more star in that beautiful night sky or indeed one more ounce of love into my heart. I'm gonna soak this up for now and wait expectantly as we draw closer to our new home for the next 10 months. Soon after we arrive, the Hospital will spring back into action. A few thousand surgeries, no doubt, but more than that - some more people who will discover that they're worth it all too. Not much gets better than that. Bring it on.
May you personally know how valued you are, so that the potential within you will emerge and touch the world as intended, may your beautiful feet be amongst those that bring good news and may mercy, grace and goodness follow you all the days of your life. May your neighborhood and community know the saving grace and freedom that Heaven above intended, may you know the One who keeps you so in turn we will watch over one another, that we will allow ourselves to be His planting... and that together we will all stand one day as beautiful, mature, risen sons and daughters who understand the days we were entrusted with. (adapted from something I read somewhere some place once upon a time and I'm not totally sure where now...)
Love forever KWW