Saturday, September 21, 2013

Waiting Waiting Waiting

I’m not very good at waiting, honestly.  I get impatient inside when there is nothing left to be done.  I’m much better at doing something – anything!  Give me a project and a deadline and I will complete it regardless of how long it might take or how specific the details.  I will enjoy the whole work of it.

But waiting means I have to give the work of something to someone else and then not think about the thing until it’s given back.

In the meantime, who knows what someone else is doing with my project while I don’t have control of it anymore!  What if they make a mistake?  What if my expectations of them are misplaced?  What if ….

I suppose that’s where faith comes in.

When it’s God and the Russian government you are waiting on it takes a lot of faith!

So here I am waiting for my Letter of Invitation.  The official piece of paper that I need before I can apply for my visa to start my adventures in Moscow.

I’m not really doing nothing while I’m waiting.  I’m doing all kinds of things, actually.  Getting all the details ready for the responsibilities I leave behind like my house and car and the random assorted collection of stuff I have amassed.  

And collecting memories, too.  Lunches and dinners and small trips overflow with blessings, “I love you!” and hugs – lots of hugs.  Funny how the idea of going overseas makes us reconsider the importance of the friendships we fill our lives with.  As fragile as life is, I think we should fill more moments with those things.

I haven’t done much writing lately, honestly, because I am too busy living and find myself at a loss for words.  I absolutely, 100% can NOT believe how supportive people have been of this trip!  

My church family in Thorp, to start with, made pledges so fast the pledge-writer couldn’t keep up.  My son said it took 7 minutes to get a full year’s support!  That’s crazy.  Most of these people don’t even know me.  They have shared this quiet season with me from a distance watching, perhaps, but not participating in my every day.  

Then there was my church family in Bloomington.  Same story, different city.  Their prayers, their encouragement, their support leaves me without words.  Many of them know me well having helped to put me back together through one of the most difficult times of my life.  I knew I could count on their encouragement and their prayers, but financially, too, they gave and gave.  And all I could do was smile and cry and hope I can be worth their investment.

And then my co-workers worked behind my back to put together a surprise that totally surprised me!  “Let’s have dinner with Lyn” turned into “let’s have a party for Kris!” and laughter laced laughter and lives connected in another level of friendship. Their generosity makes a huge impression on my heart.

The camera they pitched in for is well beyond what I had prayed for – well beyond.  I asked God if I couldn’t have a new camera that wouldn’t take shaky pictures, that would let me get a good close up, that would make the things I see shareable.  “Could I have $150 or something at the end of the list of needs for the trip?  I’d like a camera, God, a better one than I have so I can share what I see.”  

God is probably laughing at my idea of better compared to His idea of better!

People ask me some questions the same over and over, “aren’t you afraid of what will happen with what you leave behind?”

I’m taking the best things with me.  I have discovered in all of my traipsing between hither and yon that friendships don’t really end no matter where you go.  The impressions of your friends remain on your heart, in your thoughts, entwined about you.  “Iron sharpens iron” is how the Bible describes it.  Friends remain a part of you.  Always.

I take with me the kindness, the support, the laughter, the complicity, the joy, the bonds, the sorrows, the hardships, the tears of my friends.

I hope I leave the right things behind.  Lingering smiles, gentle answers, laughter to overcome strained days, easy compassion, a quick “Thanks, God!” when interesting people challenge perspectives.

I will miss my angelbabies, that’s a fact.  But I take them with me in a thousand ways.  Mavrik’s shy smile when he realizes he’s being watched.  Anna’s laughter and sheer joy in life.  Arthur’s blunt honesty.  Eli’s giggle and teasing.   And the rest of the collection, too.  Their "got a mint?" smiles and running, leaping hugs fill my cup.  I will miss my kids, too.  John’s gentle wisdom. Thi’s crazy humor.  Melissa’s foundational friendship.  

I hope I leave a lot of things behind for them, too.  My love for Jesus, my sense of adventure, my desire to bring change to the world’s problems even if it’s only a drop in the bucket.  I want them to follow the good I do, but also to learn from my failures so they aren’t repeated.

I would like to be already there.  This waiting is trying my patience!  But while I’m waiting I’m working hard to collect what I will need when I get there, too.  I guess waiting really is ok after all.

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