Lily's kids

Lily's kids

Monday, August 25, 2014

Strong and Courageous

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD  your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
The beauty here in Bolivia is amazing. The love that these kids have and that I have for them fills me up each day and puts a smile on my face. God blesses me time and time again with His goodness and faithfulness and makes my soul sing. I love where He has brought me and this home He has placed me in. 
But it isn’t always so easy. So many times I write about the beautiful moments. The moments holding sleeping children, or times where the older kids open up their hearts or all the hugs and kisses I receive daily. I don’t always write about the tough days.
Like when 5 of the 8 little ones in my house decide to all start screaming and fighting at the same time and there are 8 voices screaming, “TIA LILY!”. Or when one of the older girls gets mad at me and decides to not talk to me for three days but makes sure I know she’s not talking by following me around and talking SUPER nicely to everyone around me. These kids are tough. Sure they love each other and that’s what I write about because that’s what I see. But there are hard moments. Last month we had a fist fight with two of the older boys and it was intense. Afterwards no-one was hurt and both were able to calm down but it reminded me of the hurt that these kids have inside. A hurt that only Jesus can heal. 
Sometimes it’s hard being so far away in a different country. There are times I just am craving American food or just would like to be left alone for 20 minutes or be able to fly back to the States quick to see my family. It is a weird feeling when loneliness sets in while living with 100 people. But missing family isn’t a bad thing because it’s when I realize how blessed I am by them. 
I am blessed by these struggles because I know that God is using them to mold my heart. These struggles hurt. The tears come but God uses them to wash away old hurts and frustrations. These trials are bittersweet. In the midst of them there is pain and I have to continue to cry out to God for strength. But as the trials pass, I see the sweetness of His love for me as He reminds me to be strong and courageous because He is with me. I have a long way to go. I have a lot to learn. But I know the God will never leave me no matter where I go.

“Come, my soul, pluck up courage, and put down they feet in the blood-marked footprints which thy Lord has left thee.” -C.H. Spurgeon

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