Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Sunrise in Vietnam

Sunrise over a small village in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam.

How did I get to be in that incredible place?  And why am I telling this story now, in the middle of this RA/Fibromyalgia Season of re-learning my place?

Another word-sharing-session with my counselor brought me to the place of remembering.  I told her that I still wanted to be up and doing and walking away my anxieties. I am not finding the PEACE here that I thought I should have attained by now.  So my Counselor asked if I could take a walk through the memory hall of my mind.  The same emotions that were triggered during the actual pleasant times can be triggered again, proven by studies, simply when we remember those times.

Shortly after she proposed a time of remembering, a new Blog-Friend of mine found out that I had taken a God-Planned-Adventure to Vietnam, and she stirred up these very memories when she shared her own Adventures.  Thank you Valerie, at gracewithsilk  for asking to hear about my story!  So today I am walking over the land that a healthier and stronger me was allowed to witness.

I was probably 17 or 18 years old when I had a vision while I was praying. I saw myself in an Asian Village, being so thankful to share in a love that was God-given.  I assumed I would be a Missionary. But my life took a different turn, and decades later, as a stay-at-home Mom, I found myself wrapped up in the story of my Pastor and his Wife, trying to adopt a baby from Cambodia.  I prayed and agonized with them through a very long and difficult adoption process.  When they returned with their beautiful baby boy, I sat amazed by the pictures in their slideshow.  It looked like the Asian Village in my vision from so long ago.  Tears rolled down my face, as I felt the Lord say that I had been in that village with them through my praying.  Ahh beautiful, I thought.  Now I know why I had that vision. End of Story.

But God's endings are not the same as ours.  Another decade later, and this time our oldest son took a trip to Vietnam with his new friend.  We didn't know that a possible marriage with his friend's sister was in the itinerary.  But again, Jesus finds ways to let a Mama know how to pray.  On the very night of the marriage, half-way around the world, my heart was burdened to pray for my children's spouses, with an urgency like never before.  So when our son came home and asked us to pray with him so that his new wife could get a VISA to come to America, my heart had already been prepared.

Years of praying, and crying, and waiting were finally answered in the spring of 2011, when her VISA was approved.  When we finally met our new daughter-in-law, loving her was easy because my heart had been captivated before she ever set foot in America.

So when she asked me to go with her back to Vietnam for a Family Reunion Party later that fall, I thought my heart would burst.



Breakfast time in Vietnam means noodle soup (not cereal) and tea (not coffee.)


A trip to the market across the street from the family's house happened daily. Even when I thought I would lose my way, my daughter-in-law held my hand and treated me with honor, so that I knew I was in the safest place I could be.


This Grandma, (51 at the time,) managed to stumble into the flat-bottomed boat for a ride down the river. When God calls out the Adventure, we never know where He will lead us.  As a 17 year old, looking for a future of purpose, I thought I knew what LOVE looked like.  I thought I would be the one teaching those around me what God's Love looks like.  But HE is the teacher, and HE knows how to plan the future that will bring about HIS Beauty in every place HE leads us.

Sometimes Beauty looks like a small table, child-sized by American standards, set with simple fruit, prepared by the hands of a family that speak a language you cannot understand, opening their hearts for LOVE to be shared.


My journeys now feel large when I can take a day-trip involving a 3 or 4 hour car ride.  But my times for Adventure are not finished.  When I let Jesus plan my journey, whether through chronic illness or healthy travels, HE will set my feet in the good place of HIS choosing: Finding BEAUTY and LOVE each step of the way.

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus" Ephesians 3:20-21

I'm thankful to be sharing my remembering-story with a group of other great bloggers over at #TellHisStory.  Won't you check out their stories as well?


 

10 comments:

  1. Oh what a beautiful story! I'm awed and amazed by the way God has led you and your family to this moment. It's a terrific testimony of grace and patient waiting for the vision to have its day, that speaks volumes about how God knows the end from the beginning. Our task is to trust Him with it all, moment by moment.
    So much spoke to me here, especially these lines: "HE knows how to plan the future that will bring about HIS Beauty in every place HE leads us." Amen! Such hope and reassurance. I can completely relate to the way chronic illness and pain place limits on our days and make travelling of any description extra challenging. And I also relate to having a limitless God who blesses us beyond all expectation. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story, Bettie. May you continue to travel closer to God's heart each day. Blessings and hugs to you. Xx :)

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Joy! I know that you understand the limitations of chronic pain. And yes, what sweet thoughts to keep us going, when we trust in our limitless God! It's so easy to look down and want our own endings, isn't it? But we miss those blessings along the way if we fail to look up to Him. I am praying for pain relief and discouragement lifting for you! *HUGS* and Blessings!

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  2. Bettie,
    I just LOVED hearing you tell this story! I got chills when you said you saw a vision of yourself in an Asian village and I'm awed at how God worked in your heart for your future daughter-in-law and the beautiful trip you were able to experience! (And I loved that I could prompt you to tell this lovely story!)

    I'm so happy to have connected with you via our blogs and I pray that you experience healing and progress so that one day you can again step out in a traveling adventure! xoxo Loved the photos too, friend!

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    1. Valerie,
      Oh thank you for your prayers and encouragement! I am so glad you were blessed by this story, and that you liked my simple pictures as well! :-) I am trying to see the Adventures that God brings to my everyday life now, here in this different place. And I am asking for HOPE to find new strength each day. Isn't it grand when HE opens our eyes to see through His perspective? Blessings and Hugs to you friend!

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  3. Such an amazing testimony of God's leading in your life, Bettie. That's interesting that studies show pleasure can be triggered again when we remember those times. This truth especially gives me hope - "HE knows how to plan the future that will bring about HIS Beauty in every place HE leads us." Thank you so much for ministering to me today, my friend. May God bring His Beauty into your present situation! Hugs!

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    1. Hi Trudy, Yes, I was also surprised when my counselor told me about those pleasure areas of our brain being triggered at just the memory of a good event. I had found myself NOT wanting to remember because I didn't want to feel even more sad about what I was no longer able to do. But in the process of holding back, it turns out I was missing another way being uplifted! Another friend reminded me of the "stones of remembrance" that God had the people erect, and how important it was for them to remember God's goodness in the past. Wow! He sure knows how He put us together, and what we need, doesn't HE! I am so glad you were encouraged, Trudy! You so often encourage me with your posts! Hugs to you today!

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  4. Oh wow! The timing of our lives can somehow seem off. What a beautiful story of redemption and joy! Loved it.

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    1. Thank you Karen! Yes, isn't our God amazing?! His ways are so much higher than ours, that's for sure. I am so thankful that He leads us along the His path--the best one. --Blessings to you!

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    1. Thank you Susan! God's ways are truly wonderful aren't they? --Blessings!

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