Monday, July 13, 2009

The third letter

Hi Naomi,

Thanks for your thoughts on living with poverty. I don’t know whether to be reassured by the fact that you have no easy answers or not! I do know this: that if I stop struggling with the issue it is most likely because my heart has turned to stone rather than because I have found the answers.

It is a grey day here today, and dark. The solar panels are not producing much power and my laptop battery is flat. I’ve come outside for better light. The grey day captures my mood, but as I look around I see such glorious colour; pinks, reds, oranges, purples, gold, all usually unnoticed, washed out in the sunshine. And I rejoice in the grey day for the beauty I have seen.

For me, this is what the middle (heart-wrenching) chapters of your book were like – grey, sad days of longing, grief, confusion and fear. Yet what you learnt about God, his goodness and faithfulness, was so beautiful and glorious that perhaps you also now rejoice in those days as much as you wept through them then.

Your story spoke powerfully to me about trusting God, knowing that his plan is best. We may make plans, they may be good, right and wise plans (or they may not be), but he directs our paths. His path is best. Sometimes it will be the same as our plan (and in these times we often forget who is directing our paths) but when it is different we notice and we are confused. Sometimes the paths he takes us on we would never have planned, or even imagined. They are always best.

Our plan was to have a baby at the end of this year. It seemed like a good plan, causing minimal disruption to Glen’s teaching here, working well with the school year for our girls, being a good time to return to Australia so we could also be with family over Christmas and say farewell to my brother and his family who are going away. And, our family would be complete. Perfect. A good plan? Maybe. Maybe not. Not God’s plan.

This has taught me to daily pray, your will, Lord, not mine. I think about how much better it was that you returned to Nepal when you did, rather than when you had planned. I think about how much better it was that you were in Australia when you were, and I pray, your plan, Father, not mine.

A good lesson to be learning.

with love,

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