Saturday, May 29, 2010

Africa's Joy

I haven't written in a while, but I do have a good excuse. I was in Africa for almost two weeks. It was a life-changing experience. I am so glad that the Lord opened that door for me. I came home appreciating everything. Especially little things like the toilet;) There were so many different things that I could talk about from this trip, but this blog is about my journey as a widow. So I'm going to focus on that part concerning Africa. Since the accident my views on heaven have been radically changed. For some reason, I had always thought of heaven as an eternal church service, clouds, mass singing....Very dreamlike. Thankfully, a good friend gave me a book that used Scripture to describe heaven. Total transformation in my Christian walk. I came to understand why Paul said "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain." For me, creation has taken on a whole new meaning. I look around on a daily basis and think my God created this. Powerful, creative, all-knowing God made this earth and He loves me. These thoughts just blow my mind. I also think when I see a beautiful scenery that this is just a glimpse of what Troy is experiencing right now. One of the most profound things in Africa for me was the views. The rolling mountains, the clear blue sky, the white clouds touching the mountain tops, the untouched greenery....the most beautiful scenes I have ever seen and that is nothing compared to what Troy is seeing and exploring right now. I often think what new landscape he is awe struck by. If he ever thinks of me, wanting to show me what our amazing Savior has created for us. God has opened my eyes to come and appreciate the wind as a powerful example of Him in my life. It is invisible. I can't see it, but I can see the affects of it on things around me. I can feel it. These thoughts came to me one day sitting at the cemetery. I could see it in the trees and feel it, but I couldn't actually see wind. He created it and His creation is a reflection of His glory. It was a reminder that God is always with me even though I can't see Him. This concept of God never leaving me was most definitely emphasized on this trip. I knew it would take me out of my comfort zone as far as creature comforts, but I hadn't realized what a close support system I had created since the accident. I was with a group who had knew no idea who I was or what my life had been before the accident or even that there was an accident and I had lost my husband. It was very different for me, but in a good way. Because once again it brought me to that realization that God is more than enough. I only had one major breakdown which I consider successful in thirteen days;) It was after three days of clinic. That night I had this dawning realization I hadn't really thought about him for a while. I closed my eyes and I couldn't picture his face. The thoughts of moving on and meeting someone else had also come up. I felt horribly guilty. How could I forget and want to move on so easily? I immediately started crying. Thankfully had a place where I could get alone with God. I poured out my heart to the One who already knew this was coming. I spent a long time in prayer and reading. I was reminded once again of my need to surrender my wants to His will not mine. Reminded that this is His perfect plan. Its amazing the peace that comes when you let go and let Him have everything. As I sat there quietly resting in His peace, a small breeze came through the windows and I was reminded that God is always with me and His love is constantly surrounding me. Such an AMAZING God I serve! I'm reading Elizabeth Elliot's "A Path Through Suffering." Wonderful book and a great thing to read during this trip. The main lesson I have learned and continue to learn is death to self. God is using this suffering to grow and strengthen me. During this painful trial, I must constantly and I do mean constantly die to self. Only then will He be able to refine my life for His glory. She makes a statement "The greatest joy will have come forth out of the greatest sorrow." This is the place where God has brought me eight months after losing my husband. I have such joy in how God is working in my life to bring Him glory. Not that tears don't come, but even in those I know where to go and that He is teaching me something new in my sorrow. The trip taught me many lessons and I will use a quote to sum them up best. "But we never can prove the delights of His love until all on the alter we lay, for the favor He shows and the joy He bestows are for them who will trust and obey."

2 comments:

  1. :-) Thank You for sharing Sarah.

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  2. Thanks Sarah for putting things back in perspective. This was such an encouragement!

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