Sometimes when I write I think it's for the benefit of the reader, but really it benefits me the most.
So I re-read my letter this afternoon, trying to believe the things I wrote last night--in light of today's circumstances.
And as I read, I wondered if some of you could benefit from these reminders as well. So insert your own name, as needed, below.
"My dear children, I love you so much and I think about you every day. I look forward to the day when we can see each other again.
As you go back to school after the rainy season break, I want you to remember how important it is to choose your friends wisely. Stay away from kids who lead you into temptation or pressure you to do bad things. Choose friends who are kind, honest, encouraging, and who have good character.
Always cherish your special friends. Forgive quickly, and don’t let misunderstandings become arguments or end a friendship. You will make mistakes, but always try to do your best. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
When you experience disappointment or hurt, as we all do, don’t keep thinking about those situations or become bitter. Give them to God, because He can take all those bad things and use them for your good.
|The road leading to our children's orphanage|
|M....Our youngest daughter|
Remember that God is for you, not against you. He loves you so much, and I am praying that He will be very real in your life. I am asking Him to answer your prayers and speak to you through the Bible and in your dreams.
|Me with M and M|
God is directing every step your feet take. He knows the path you are on, and when the future seems uncertain, remember that He can make a way out of no way.
In the Bible, the Israelites didn’t know how to escape their bad situation with the Egyptians. But God had a plan. They started to journey to the Promised Land, but then they came to the mighty Red Sea, and the Egyptians were chasing them. They had nowhere to go. But God opened up the sea and made a pathway right through it! Nobody knew it was possible, but with God nothing is impossible. Nothing! He can do anything!
God delights in every detail of your life, and your prayers will be answered at just the right time. If you feel lonely, remember that you are never alone. God is with you. And even though we are many miles apart, we are together in heart and in spirit.
|M...our oldest daughter|
You have a mom and a dad and a little brother who all love you very, very much. And so many people are praying for you in the United States… aunts and uncles, cousins, grandmas and grandpas, friends at church, friends at school, friends in our neighborhood… hundreds of people who know your names and love you and want the very best for you. Someday you will meet them and they will say, “Your mom and dad showed us your photos, and I was praying for you!”
|D, M, me, and M|
Listen closely because God wants you to hear His voice. The Bible says He is a Good Shepherd, and we are His sheep. He is whispering to you and saying: “I made you. I love you. I have a purpose and a plan for your life. You are so special to me, and I am going to do amazing things in your life—things that are so good that you can’t even imagine them! Be patient. Keep believing.”
D—my handsome, strong son: Hold your head up high. You are a child of God, and you will change the world. I love you, D.
M—my beautiful, sweet oldest daughter: Lift up your head, and listen. Your prayers will be answered. Let love in, and be joyful. I love you, M.
M—my charming, pretty youngest daughter: Guard your heart, for your beauty comes from inside, and keep smiling because your happiness warms the heart of everyone you meet. I love you, M.
Until next time, close your eyes and remember a hug from me.