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MISSION UPDATE: Broken Surrenders

Have you ever been in a room scattered with people, where various conversations are happening all at once? You're involved in one with someone but you hear another going on nearby and some of what's being said is making it to your ears. Suddenly you're not entirely present in your own conversation because part of you is straining to hear what's happening in theirs.

And because your ears are so divided you lose out on what's in front of you while still not really catching what's happening over there.

That's been my relationship with God lately. And it's the reason I can never find anything to write in this space these days.

In my last post I wrote these words:

"If ever I stop writing out my thoughts and the stories of my experience, I'll probably shrivel up and die. Because often God puts a thought in my mind to write out for the purpose of sharing, but I'll really have no idea where the thought will end up going. Sometimes, in its baby stage, it seems entirely incomplete and underdeveloped and I think it can't possibly be worth fighting to find the words to express it.
But then I do and I experience God teaching me a lesson while my own fingers type out the details of the thing He most wants me to see in that moment."

That post was written exactly 4 months ago and I haven't written a word here since that day. Oh, I've tried, but never succeeded. It's presently 2:57am and I'm wide awake and fighting this keyboard for something that'll make sense of the swirling mess in my head because I get messages from people saying they're not hearing anything from us and asking if we're okay. I hate that people are being left to guess but it's also hard to know how to answer because it's been such a ridiculously long process.

Silence from our end has resulted in the loss of donors, prayer warriors, and many of those who used to offer the gift of encouragement. Because if someone is going to invest in you in some way, they want to know what they're investing in. They want to know the cause is worthy.

Here's what I know and what I can say with certainty: a life surrendered to God is one that will catch the attention of His adversary. And that adversary will do everything conceivable to destroy that surrender. Anything and everything.

Interestingly, years ago when I first re-launched this little blog and named it Walking Redeemed (some of you may recall it was initially These Five of Mine and then These Five of Mine plus two after I had the twins), I put the following words in the header just under the title: Broken surrenders and relentless pursuit.

I had no idea how almost prophetic those words would prove to be.

Satan doesn't mind if we're Christian. And he doesn't mind if we raise kids who profess to believe in God. He doesn't mind if we're in church, if we serve on committees, or if we stand in the pulpit and preach. None of that, in and of itself, really scares him. What scares him is when we claw our way to the feet of Jesus. When we crawl past all the noise, all the distractions, and all the detours and we fight to the death to bring our children with us. He gets scared when it's more than a mere profession and instead becomes an all-consuming desire.

And he will fight you, fist to the face, until you retreat.

But a gasp for air doesn't equal a retreat. Even a tortured prayer begging for relief isn't the wave of a white flag. The frailty of our humanity makes us squirm when we're under fire, but squirming might just be the prelude to the kind of experience where we can sing in the furnace.

All the circumstances and changes and struggle in our personal lives ... along with the requirements and conditions and impossibility from the government ... wore out my brain and also broke my health. I've had a knot the size of Texas (Hey there, Jacinda and Erica!) on the left side of my neck and I no longer take for granted the free movement of my head. It has cost me, in the currency of pain, to turn my head because my neck was so tight. A medical missionary friend came and showed us how to treat those muscles and it has improved significantly. I have so much gratitude.

We finally passed the government inspection but we're still waiting on the official license. I feel like I've been saying that forever. Bureaucratic tape is sticky. I never wanted a children's home but I did want to take care of the children we've been asked to help. Not wanting to turn them away resulted in the necessity of licensing a children's home. And now we're fighting to keep it as home-like as possible in spite of so many requirements. It feels a lot like a dog chasing its tail.

My humanity wants to run. It wants to hide. It wants to rail at God and demand answers to my endless questions. I was assured last night that He's big enough to handle all of that. That He prefers even anger over apathy.

I'm fighting for the words to share this because I know I'm not alone in this very lonely-feeling journey. As I type this, my friend is lying in a hospital bed following a near-fatal car accident a month ago. She's the wife of my home pastor and the mother of two girls (now adults) who stole my heart when they were very young. They feel the heat.

Someone I know just lost his beloved wife to suicide. That man and his children are clawing, beaten and bleeding, to the feet of Jesus.

If you're struggling, regardless of how lonely it feels, you aren't alone. The world around us is filled with people who are fighting for their spiritual lives. And if we could see behind the veil, we'd see what the enemy keeps shrouded in obscurity.

We'd see that even when it feels like we're losing everything, we might just actually be winning, by the grace of a loving, compassionate, and relentless God.

Our first two kids, Wind and Sky, went to live with their sister, Preaw, (we love her sweet self, too!) in March. My mind and heart has claimed them even if they don't live with us. We still get to video chat and stay connected and I still get to hear them call me mama. Actually, Wind calls me Moms. It's a mixture of grief and gratitude. I'm grateful they know how loved and wanted they are by blood family. That'll do for their hearts what we never could. And their sister and her family will lead them well and love them completely. Just because hurt accompanies the separation doesn't mean my brain doesn't understand they're going to thrive where they are.

I'm going to keep clawing because sometimes surrender means giving up the battle and other times it means taking up the battle. Either way, the strength needs to come from God. I want to learn to be just as content in the hard times as I am in the good ones, trusting the One who sees what I can't yet see.

I know what it is to be poor or to have plenty, and I have lived under all kinds of conditions. I know what it means to be full or to be hungry, to have too much or too little. Christ gives me the strength to face anything. Philippians 4:12-13


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5월 04일

Kasey, Those who understand the battle will not hold expectation over the frequency of your writing. Share as the Lord lays it upon your heart and live free in daily seeking His will. Let not your heart be troubled...John 14:1,27. Some will be shaken out of the ranks but others will come in to take their place. It is the Lord who promised to provide for your need and for the childrens' need and the rivers of water and the supply of oil will not fail. Your bread and water will be sure.


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Dearest Friend, Just know you aren't alone fighting to get to Papa/God. Bob is right there with you. Waiting on God. So hard, we want f-a-s-t and He says Wait on Me. AND as ALWAYS when the waiting ends we are left to wonder, What was it I was wanting so badly? LOOK at what I got instead. PRAISE HIM, PRAISE HIM, JESUS OUR BLEASSED REDEEMER. All my love and prayers, Eudora

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