Thursday, July 29, 2010

A day in the life of a 28 year old

Its a strange thing to ask on ones birthday; "How does it feel to be a year older?". I'm only a day older than yesterday, really. There wasn't some fast-forward button pressed which brought me to today, all of a sudden somehow feeling a year older.
I thought of that while walking down the hall today. Nothing too profound, just thought I would share.

Birthdays are a good time to reflect on the past year, I suppose. One day when you feel like you should at least do something concerning yourself.
For some reason this year I am feeling more of an urge to think forward, though. I am excited for South Africa, I can't wait to see another corner of the world, all while feeling the familiar weight of a little baby in my arms with my work in an orphanage there. I am excited for the joy, the stress, the hard work, the tears, the frustrations, and the overwhelming contentment of living for God, watching Him fulfill my hearts desire.

Then I look back, and I feel such a mixture of emotions. It was still only a year ago that I was holding baby Anicette on my birthday, her tiny body so small in my hands, her hair so soft on my neck. We were still celebrating little Maddie and her successful treatment for Burkitt's. Life felt so good. The stress was incredible, but it was so so good. Sailing out of Benin left a hole that still needs a patch from time to time, even to this day.
Tenerife, Togo, a stop in the Netherlands, a wedding in the states, back to Togo, and 6 months of working back in the culture I have grown to love immensely, here I am. Its hard to believe all that has happened in one year. Sometimes it feel like a lifetime of experiences all crammed into just 365 days. Not in a bad way, just in the sense that it takes longer to process all that has happened in those days, in just that small window of time.

I think I'm talking in circles. Or my mind has already raced ahead of itself 4 times over and now is coming back to this point. There's this song called 'The beast in me" by Matrin Sexton. One line says; 'The beast in me is the best in me'. Sometimes I think my ADD is the beast in me, and at the same time one of the best things I have going for me.
Point proven, wouldn't you say?

Moving on.
Here I sit, still trying to work through what I still have to work through (try and follow), yet feeling at total peace with where I am. To say I have been blessed sounds terribly cliche, but what the heck, I'll go for it. My life since 25 has been incredible. I am on a journey with the creator of the Heavens and Earth as my guide. Not too shabby.
So today, when I look back, I don't feel a year older, per se. I feel like I have experienced in the last year enough for 10 years, and more than ready to see what this next year holds, already excited to see what I will have to reflect on when I turn 29.

Thanks for the birthday wishes, everyone!

Monday, July 19, 2010


I've tried, I really have. I sit down or sometimes just start thinking about what to write about here, but clearly I struggle. Whether the battle is between not thinking I have anything to say, or just not knowing how to articulate what I think or feel, is yet to be determined.

My dad mentioned something on the phone last night that made quite a bit of sense (to me at least). We were talking about the ever constant debate men and women have. Women want men to know how they feel, they want them to understand their inner angst, whatever it may be that day, week, month... we all know what road this discussion can go down...
I've never been one to be offended by my dad or his opinion of women (and friends, he does NOT claim to know the inner workings of a woman's mind). But what he said has stuck, and maybe even spurred this post.
He said women often don't know themselves what they are feeling until they start verbalizing it. "They process as they talk" he said.

To be honest, it doesn't matter if you agree with this thought because for me its true (I was the intended audience, after all). And helpful. Thanks Bob, another pearl to add to my collection. :smile:

As life on board a floating hospital, docked in a third world country, surrounded by amazing stories, astounding people, and life changing moments becomes normal, what is there to write about?
I feel like such a jerk even saying that now because that's not how I feel anymore, its just a sum up of the last few months. You see, I started talking about these things, and I'm figuring out what in the world is going on in my heart.

Last week Alex died. Our little wide-eyed, prone-to-streaking-naked through the hospital ward, Alex. His Leukemia won in the end, but not before he touched the hearts of both myself and my dear friend Becca.
Africa proved itself again with a story of extreme joy coming right on the tail of losing little Alex.

Gerald is going home, and so is Joseph. They are going to be ok, at least medicine is saying so at the moment. Some people heard me talk about the Burkitt's program this year as I worked trying to learn every detail I could about the disease. I broke my own stereotype of being utterly incapable of concentrating for more than a few hours by logging hundreds on the subject.
I told people I would do it all again, even if all the work was for one kid. Just one.

Maybe its because the challenge wasn't as big as last year. Maybe the hospitals were too independent in the care of the kids, already following strict protocols. Maybe I didn't feel needed. Maybe I thought all that work had to count for something. Maybe that's why I couldn't string together words worthy of a blog post.
Maybe God was thinking;
Suzanne, when will you figure it out? Will you turn to me for the answer today?

Now, God. Now I see. It was about just a handful of your children. All of that work was just for those few boys. I'm sorry I let it become about me.

"Painless or painful, enjoyable or distasteful, God always works to prepare us to serve Him, but He rarely prepares us in ways we expect"- Beth Moore

My smile after reading that line felt beautifully familiar. My precious intimacy with the Maker of the Universe was returning. We talked, I processed. He listened patiently, and He spoke in a way only I could hear.
He made me see my life, my situation, this floating hunk of steel, the people, the stories, are all far from normal. There is immeasurable beauty and wonder in every day, we just screw it up most days by not opening our eyes.
I'm not trying to be poetic, I am not trying to tell you life is wonderful and you should stop to smell the roses. I'm saying, well, I'm still processing actually (can of worms dad, a big fat can of worms). I'll let the end of the quote from Beth Moore bring it home today.

"...Why must we experience such preparation? Because any work we've grown accustomed to is usually a work completed. As soon as we've learned one lesson, He brings another. He will continue to work until we see His face, because that's the ultimate moment for which He's preparing"
From the study "David, A Heart Like His"