I have learned to hold all things loosely, so God will not have to pry them out of my hands. --Corrie ten Boom

How Much Longer?

I Knew I Loved You...

Monday, May 12, 2008

The people God brings us to...

I received a package in the mail yesterday. It wasn't from one of my secret pals from one of my groups that I participate in & it wasn't from a familiar friend who lives nearby. It wasn't from anyone in my family & it wasn't from a stranger...it was from a friend, although a different kind of friend than some of you might think of when you hear the word "friend". A woman who I have never met face to face & likely may never meet in person. A woman who lives very far from me, but obviously knows me better than people who I see every day. This woman inspires me in so many ways & I am better for knowing her that is for sure!! She is from a group of other families that I correspond with that are all logged in for China the same month as us.

She has thought about me, prayed for me & offered words of encouragement throughout the entire time I have known her since joining this group. Not only when she speaks directly to me, but just day to day by the insights & advice that she shares. Also, I visit her family blog from time to time. She is an inspiring woman & lives her life in a way that glorifies God & His kingdom! I am proud to call her my friend.
She sent me a gift that I will treasure forever. Even more than the gifts that she sent, her written words touched me in a way that I will never forget. I will never be able to thank her enough, not for the gifts, I can thank her for those. Although, I couldn't have chosen something better or more perfect to help me during this time & in the waiting times ahead if I had went & made the purchase for myself. What I mean is that I will never be able to thank her for her thoughtfulness, her prayers, her heartfelt sincerity or her words that will resinate with me always & forever. I will never be able to thank her for the way that she lives or the way that she inspires others in her daily life!
The one thing I know is that God works in so many ways in our lives that we so often take for granted. I know that this woman came into my life not just by chance, but because God knew there would come a time when I would need her; her prayers, her kindness & her heartfelt sincere words that mean so much to me today & always will! No, I will not ever be able to thank her enough, but the one thing I will do is thank God for her & thank Him for making sure that we crossed paths in our lives here on Earth.
This wait for our daughters from China is long & so often we question this wait that we must all endure. We so often hear from others that as time passes many things often reveal themselves & the reason for the wait becomes more clear. I believe that this woman was meant to come into my life & help me in a way that I couldn't do for myself. I will praise Him for this & that I know will be all the thanks & more that she would ever want, to glorify God for His great works!
Kelly Raundenbush you are amazing!! You inspire me in so many ways! Thank you so much. I opened the gift & the tears came like a flowing river. I attempted to read the card to my husband Thomas & couldn't get through it without stopping several times to catch my breath. I later shared it with my Mother & again I had to stop several times before I could continue on. I want you to know that we get our mail everyday without fail. It is just a habit, we never leave it in the box from one day to the next. On Saturday, we were doing yard work & time got away from us. We realized late on Saturday that we never got our mail from the mail box. We decided to wait until Sunday to grab it. We never do that. My point is, that on Sunday; Mother's Day, I opened my gift from you. It couldn't have been better timing!
I am not sure that I can explain what your words meant to me & what the gifts mean to me now & how much they will mean to me in years to come! I hope you don't mind Kelly, but I want to show photos here of your gift to me & it seems only appropriate that your written words go with the pictures. I know that they were written to me, but I want to share them with all those who will read this.

"Be strong and let your heart take courage, All who hope in the Lord."
Ps. 31:24
Dear Jen,
I wanted to send you this special gift as a reminder of the great hope we have, the great expectation you have that God will make you a Mommy in His perfect timing.
These charms were handmade by an artist in Bejing. I had my parents get them for me. You can wear the mother charm as a reminder of Mia Lynn and how God is preparing you even now to be her Mommy. And, the other charm (the daughter charm), knowing that one day you can place it around her neck with great joy and thanksgiving. Treasure it until then.
May this Sunday, (Mother's Day) be one not of sorrow, but of great expectation of the joy to come.
By Grace,
Kelly Raundenbush

The pouch is what the charms came in. The first one on the left is "mother" & the one to the right is "daughter".
The card will go in Mia's scrapbook along with other various very important writings from those people that mean so much to us for her to enjoy in years to come!
Again Kelly, there are no words...a simple thank you does not seem like near enough. I will very soon be shopping for the perfect silver chain so that I may begin to wear my mother charm. Knowing that it came from China, it is like a lifeline to our Mia. I am so excited to place it around my neck & close to my heart where my daughter is growing already!
If you would like to "meet" Kelly & her beautiful family, here is her family blog address: http://www.raudenbushfamily.blogspot.com/
Please visit her!


The Raudenbush Family said...

Hi to everyone - I had originally responded to this post by email to Jen. But, I decided I wanted to post it here as well for anyone else to read. I honestly want to point to our Father and humbly step aside so that no one sees me but Him. Here is what I wrote to Jen:
"Oh Jen. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I needed it this morning. I am blessed knowing that God used me in your life. I have had these charms for a couple months. I had asked my mom to get them last time she was in China. I didn’t have anyone in particular in mind for them. I just thought it would be a neat idea. She had a little Chinese woman who works at a stand at the Pearl Market make them for me. When I heard your sad news, I thought of the charms immediately. I wanted to give them to you. But, I also didn’t want to send them right away as I wanted you to grieve Emma and not think that I was just telling you to look forward to Mia and forget Emma. You know what I mean? So, when it dawned on me that Mother’s Day was right around the corner, I thought it would be good to send them for that day. And, how neat that you actually got them on that day! Honestly, I am not any super person or any super mom. I just am thankful that God used me at this time to minister to you. I know that the Holy Spirit laid it on my heart and I responded. But, I can’t take any more credit than that. God meant for those charms to be for you, even when my mom ordered them, even as a Chinese woman with calloused hands but tender fingers cut them by hand, they were meant for you and Mia. Don’t give me credit—instead be thankful to the One who clearly has you in mind and wants you to know that He is caring for you even in great pain and that He has a plan for you and your family. He spoke to you through those charms, not me. Know that His message encourages me as well. The God who cares for you also cares for me. It is a blessing to know that and remember that today."

May that truth be a blessing to all the readers of this message.

Dan and Lisa said...

Jen--I couldn't agree with you more. I too have been the recepient of Kelly's generous, kind and loving heart. I am continueally amazed at how humbly she goes about sharing her heart, her soul and her faith with anyone that crosses her path. She is touched by God in a very special way. And she is an obebient servant with such ease that it makes us all feel like it's such a "breeze", when in fact we all know--keeping your ears, eyes, heart and mind open to God's will takes time and and intentional faithful walk.

Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I too think of you so often--and wish there was more I could do to heal your pain. What I can say is--have faith my friend--we are all meant to meet our daughters someday. Only God knows who she is--he is preparing you and preparing her with each and every day. We must trust in Him. If we do--surely he will reward our pure and faithful hearts.

Hang in there Jen.

Lisa A-7.17.07LID--July LID'r