When we were in India this summer, I had no time for emotion. It is truly one of the times in my life when I knew I had to shove my emotions aside in order to get myself and the girls through another day. We faced more challenges as a family in India than we collectively ever have. There wasn’t a lot of food, the girls got sick, we were far, far from home, everything and everyone was strange and unfamiliar. I went in to “Mom mode”, trying to mother my girls through their days, helping them cope, giving them strength to be sustained for another day. They did better than I could have imagined they would, but it was hard.
But now, as i reflect back at our time there, watch videos and see photos, I weep. I see joy on my girls’ faces that I missed because I was taking care of some need. I see the smiles in the faces’ of the children we visited, smiles of abundant, eternal joy that made our scarifies seem small in light of the eternal impact of the work God is doing in Tamil Nadu. Did we come with some great, wonderful message? No. We came with our family and we brought our smiles. Watching my girls on video dance and sing with children from southern India fills me with a measure of joy I never knew imaginable.
When we give, God gives so much back. The joy we know as a family from having served this summer in India together is something we will treasure forever…and then some.
Although great trouble accompanied the Word, you were able to take great joy from the Holy Spirit!—taking the trouble with the joy, the joy with the trouble. 1 Thessalonians 1:6