Oft a tale is repeated, the ones that are powerful and true, where awe and wonder tango. This is one of those stories.
I was inspired by the Lord to write a journal for my daughter and give it to her before she went on a mission trip to India. It was absolutely, positively one of those times when I knew that I had been given an assignment from the Lord. She would be gone for 90 days plus a few, so I would write ninety or so entries. It was one of the easiest missions my hands have ever been upon. His grace to do was upon me.
Prayers, scriptures, family funnies, thoughts about her, messages about home, this and that of life with us. A few pages were written by her dad, her grandparents, her brothers. Her little brother, who was only eight at the time repeated his thoughts every single time, "Ashli, come home right now!" She was already at the missionary school being trained for the trip and he was missing her so! Two or three pages had Family Circus cartoons on them. "Who does this remind you of," I would say.
She arrived in India and within days she contracted typhoid. Death seemed nearly around the bend. For days and days and days threat of it lingered. She was terribly far away. How we ached for her! It was one of the most difficult times of our entire lives. I cannot think or write of it without many tears. It is always that way when our children suffer, when they endure life and death battles, no?
A friend on the mission team sat with her, wiped her brow, fed her, ministered to her day and night. Every day she read Ashli an entry from the little journal that we made.
She remembers it as something that helped her to hang onto life, every day, little thoughts of home breathing endurance into her.
She looked like a concentration camp victim. Death was fighting for her soul. The journal kept reminding her that she had so much to live for.
"My mission trip to India did not seem very effective . . . what could I do? Typhoid depleted my strength, left me with nothing to give."
"We all learned to pray in new ways, Ash. We celebrate your life! Our gratefulness has reached new heights. Our trust in the Lord has been stretched deep and wide. Your mission was appointed, and we, the ones on this side of the world are the ones who needed changing," I say,with the heartbeat of the Lord still echoing in my ear. He was my comfort, the One who whispered "it is well" in my soul, and got me through. I am one who knows Him better now.
A ninety day journal written with someone else in mind. I have written a couple of similar ones a few times since, but this one was the first and probably one of the most important assignments I will ever have in my life. Thank you, Lord, for so many things, thank you! Thank you!
I hope this entry does not leave you sad. She did return home to us, she is healthy now, "and they lived happily ever after" can be written here.
Have a wonderful day, my friends. Be aware of little nudges to do little things . . . it might not be such a little thing after all.