Monday, February 1, 2010

Where Does the Time GO??? and Ten-Year Celebrations

Look at the clock. Sigh. And any child from my classroom can say with me, “Where does the time go?” It’s a common phrase in my room, but more than that, I’m realizing that it’s true of my everyday life, as well.

10 years ago today, I was sitting in a hospital bed in California, at a place called Cedar-Sinai. As a 16-year-old, it seemed proper for me to be out with my friends, or at least enjoying my new-found freedom driving my sweet blue minivan around Comstock! But instead, I was laying in a bed with green fruit-loop-looking things stuck to my face, with Dr. Black and others removing an unwanted tumor from my head.

It’s funny how time flies. At the time, I never thought I’d take things for granted. I’d had brain surgery – and had seen my life pass before my eyes. I learned to live in the moment, dealt with “baby bird” hair, stopped taking it for granted that I could express myself through dance, lived for six difficult months without driving (tough for a 16-year-old with a newly acquired license!), and saw that life was truly a gift… to be given and taken away as God desired. I learned that He would never give me anything I couldn’t handle, with His help!

It seems like only yesterday. I still remember playing with the heart rate monitor on my finger in ICU, and realizing it freaked my brother off when I took it off – and then doing this over and over again. (I was still pretty groggy from the surgery; I’m sure that’s a viable excuse!) I still remember coming home (to Kalamazoo) to see our table laden with food, balloons galore, and lotions to last me through high school… and realizing just how much I was loved. I still remember my youth pastor coming over before we left, and praying with my whole family – and hearing in awe how people around the country were lifting me up as well.

Yet it didn’t take long for me to get back to my normal, worried self, wishing I could know the future and planning accordingly. And I did, or at least, I tried. It seems most of the things I thought I’d be doing at this point in my life – marriage, kids, maybe coaching baton twirling – aren’t yet here. But, in the meantime, God’s provided some amazing opportunities, a passion for kids and a place to teach MKs in Africa, and the support from all of you to live in a different country loving and serving Him.

In the last ten years of life, I’ve finished high school; gone to Hope College as a Pre-Med student – and come out with an El-Ed Teaching license!; learned and grown abundantly in my faith and knowledge of who God is; moved home, then to NC to teach and learn – a lot! – with some wonderful people at Stocks Elementary; and headed out to yet another unknown land (much like Abraham) in Africa. And, praise the Lord, I’ve had ten clear MRIs since that day of surgery in Cedar-Sinai.

I wonder, sometimes, why I’m here. Why it was me that God chose to cure through doctors’ hands, and not the many people I’ve prayed for since my turn on the table. And why I, of all people, am sitting on my bed in Africa learning about God’s grace and provision, and how to TRUST Him, for the millionth time. But I AM learning, slowly but surely, that we can’t control the future. That we don’t know what’s coming. And it’s in the God of the Universe, the God who has our lives in His hands, the One who’s in charge of it all, that I can trust the future to in totality. In the end, we’ve been given this time to live, and I want to choose to live fully along the way.

Came To My Rescue Lyrics, by Hillsong

Falling on my knees in worship
Giving all I am to seek Your face
Lord all I am is yours
My whole life I place in Your hands
God of mercy humbled I bow down
In Your presence at Your throne
Chorus (x2):
I called You answered
and You came to my rescue
and I want to be where You are
My whole life I place in Your hands
God of mercy humbled I bow down
In your presence at Your throne
Chorus (x2)

1 comment:

  1. We love you and give thanks for your life today, Crystal!! What a good time of reflection... Can't wait to hear the answers to all those questions when we get to heaven!