I had grand blogging plans for October. Grand.
October is a pretty big month for bloggers as many participate in “31 Days of Blogging.” Last year I wrote 31 Reminders from Eden and loved jumping into a topic with plenty of time to swim around in it.
This year I mapped out another series I was looking forward to. I’d even made a button:
That, by the way, is a statute in Mongolia and those are people on the horse head. I took the picture after huffing and puffing my way to the top.
I wanted to write about “When Life Looms Large” because it will at some point for all of us and I was in the midst of some looming. I don’t think God was cosmically laughing at me, he is not a God of that kind of game playing. If he plays games they are for fun and joy, not pain and misery. But he sure was giving me that knowing smile, “Amy, I don’t want you to write about life looming large, I want you to be present in it.” I shared with you When the Burden is Heavy (life looming for friends) and Sometimes Less is Enough (about my own back pain), so you know a bit of what’s been going on.
Here’s another piece. One of the heavy burdens is a dear friend in Beijing has cancer.
We started working together in 1997. For more than 15 years I have watched her love people through details (there are a lot of details to keep foreigners in China), through cooking for the masses (I won’t even cook for myself, let alone others), through endless sticky notes with reminders, and through quiet behind the scenes non-stop serving. She embodies these words from Bob Goff in Love Does.
The world can make you think love can be picked up at a garage sale or enveloped in a Hallmark Card. But the kind of love that God created and demonstrated is a costly one because it involves sacrifice and presence. It’s a love that operates more like sign language than being spoken outright … The brand of love Jesus offers is … more about presence than undertaking a project. It’s a brand of love that doesn’t just think about good things, or agree with them, or talk about them … Love Does. (page 9)
If there is anyone who has lived her life more as sign language than my friend, the line is short. I’m a person of words, she’s one who does.
And to top it off, her mom died a few weeks ago. So instead of writing about life looming large, I’m going to live it. I didn’t want waste being present with my friend by being more focused on finding the internet. But don’t you worry, that doesn’t mean you won’t be hearing from me (I know, your main concern in light of all I’ve shared. HA!). In September I blogged at several other sites and will take these next two weeks to share the posts with you.
Mostly, pray for my friend, but if you think of me, this will be my first trip back to China. When I left, this is NOT the scenario I saw myself returning. I thought I’d be visiting folks, leading some trainings, playing with kiddos, talking about God at work in the world, and laughing lots. Those things will still happen, but it will be different.
I’ve been thinking so much recently about my first time to come back to the States after a year in China. The school delivered our plane tickets and I was so excited I couldn’t wait to share them with my teammate Erin so I took off for the classroom building and sat in the back of her class waving them. What I didn’t know then that I know now, is you can’t be in a country without changing. I’ve changed this last year and I won’t fully know it until I go home to China and see myself from another angle.
So, as is true When Life Looms Large, these different pieces will all be in play. The focus is on my friend, but I’m in the picture too :).
For a future series, what should I include in “When Life Looms Large?” I know many of you will pray and all of you will have fond wishes for me. Thanks in advance :). With love, Amy
P.S. For those who know I’m into patterns, when I left for training back in 1995 to learn to live in China, it was my mom’s birthday. Guess what day is the first time I go back to China after returning to the US? My parents anniversary. Weird, I know :)