I can’t help but laugh when I look at the date of my last post. It is not your typical “that was really funny” sort of laughter. It is the sort of laughter that comes when you simply cannot comprehend the fullness of a situation, so all you know to do is laugh, and then shake your head in awe of who God is.
So much life, love, and learning has happened in the last three months. I do not even know where to start. Perhaps the best place to start is with the tool God used to do it all.
I do not believe for a second that God gives us sickness, but I know for sure that He uses it. After all, “He works all things together for the good of those who love Him.”
Malaria was never a fear for me. In Mozambique, in South Africa, in Rwanda, in Uganda- I never assumed a mosquito bite would actually lead to malaria. In most of these places, I was right.
Uganda proved me wrong.
Just two weeks after I returned from Uganda, I fell ill very suddenly. I will spare all of the details of the sickness itself, but the short story is this: After several days in the hospital, with my health progressively declining, it was finally determined that I had been infected with malaria while in Uganda. It was definitely one of the most miserable experiences I have ever had, with many tears and so much fear, and a complete loss of hope, but glory be to God for it all. He pulled me through.
Now, I will not spare the emotional and spiritual details because they have molded me and shaped me in ways I never would have imagined.
While I was in the hospital, God sent a dear friend to help me and care for me as best as he could. I say he is a dear friend because that is the case now, however, it was not yet the case when he was helping me.
I really think in the storms of life, some of the nastiest parts of who we are come to the surface. This was definitely the case for me. Unfortunately for my friend, he experienced the bulk of my weakness. I had no strength to hide any part of what I was experiencing, so he saw it all.
Fortunately for me, he showed me so much grace, though it took time, and we came out on the other side, stronger as individuals and as friends.
I can’t speak for my friend, but as for me, here is a little bit of what I learned:
Love truly is patient and kind, and it definitely is not arrogant or rude.
Love does not insist on its own way.
Those who humble themselves will be exalted, in God’s timing.
God will ALWAYS fight for us, justify us, and protect us.
There is no fear in love- none at all.
The enemy cannot create anything, he can simply counterfeit. He comes to kill, steal, and destroy all good things.
We have a choice. Love does not always happen on its own, we have to choose it.
Sometimes love hurts. It hurts bad.
Even when love is painful, we rejoice in knowing this: For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, love your neighbor as yourself.
Our trials can either make us or break us, but the choice is ours to let love win.
And love endures all things.