We will always remember Ellie for her love for others, her creativity, sensitivity, and delight in life! Ellie's light has spread far and wide... may it continue to shine in our hearts.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Just thought you should know...

I'm sitting in front of a huge window, drinking a cup of Starbuck's coffee, looking at the tall buildings standing in sharp relief against a perfectly blue sky with fluffy white clouds floating by. Some of the rooftops and building tiers have trees and plants scattered around, breaking up the miles of brick and cement. I can just imagine how fun it would be to sit on such a terrace in the springtime and sip my coffee. Actually, I will probably be here come springtime, and will do just that! (This building has a couple of outdoor seating areas.) John just took Ellie to the hospital for her MIBG scan, so I have a couple of hours to rest and gather my thoughts... or sort medical paperwork... hmmm which shall I choose?

My heart has had quite a workout over this past week. There is such peace being here, knowing that Ellie will recieve the very best treatment for her cancer, but everything is so unfamiliar and I have a problem with sudden changes within my world. In situations such as these, my natural response is to curl up in the fetal position in a corner somewhere and not move. You know, I think that I can identify very closely with opossums - if I could just lie very still and slow my heart rate down enough, maybe anyone passing by would just think I'm dead and keep on moving. Interacting closely with people when I'm stressed takes so much effort and energy for me, that I just want to hunker down and become invisible. Still, I have been concious for years of how God has been ever so slowly moving me out of my comfort zone - in hind sight I can see that it has been in preparation for this time in my family's life. When I look back, it is so easy to see how lovingly and slowly God has worked on my heart. I am acutely aware of how gently God has dealt with me... always working, moving, pushing - but never suddenly. When I look back at any of the major events in my life, I can always see the months or years of preparation that God has done in my heart and mind to bring me to that place. This is no exception.

Years ago we came across a small note in my dad's Bible, that the prayer of his heart was to really KNOW God. I have often reflected on that, and I know with every fiber of my being that God answered that prayer. Most of you know the story, but some of you are new to our lives, so I will give you the nutshell version...

My parents were missionaries in Panama while I was growing up. They worked for years in a little village, learning the language and teaching people about Christ. In 1993 my dad and his two co-workers were kidnapped by Colombian guerrillas, and their wives and children were left behind. It took over seven years before enough evidence came to light to determine that Dad, Mark, and Rick were killed in 1996.

I have often wished that I had notes from Dad about what he was thinking and learning during his years in captivity. I know that he would have been driven to write it down... to keep a record for us of what he was going through. I know this, because I am driven in the same way. Even though I don't have any physical proof in writing, I just know that God was ever present in his heart and always at the forefront of his mind. I know that God must have answered Dad's prayer and given him such a real knowledge of His own divine nature. And I somehow suspect that Dad prayed the same for me. I know that he wouldn't have wanted me to suffer, but more than anyone, He would have realized that drawing near to the heart of God Himself is a treasure so far beyond anything we can imagine. Sometimes I fight the suffering and just want out, but even then I can see God moving and working and calling me closer. I am so glad that He doesn't let me go.

I just came across another Twila Paris song in my journal...
"A Heart That Knows You" (words and music by Twila Paris)

Thought I knew so much
But I've got so much to learn
Got so far to go
So much left to burn
Thought I knew You well
But I struggle in Your hands
Here again You bring the truth before me
Freedom only comes when I let go
This I know...

You would never lead
Where You had not been
Every road I face
You go down again
Time has come and gone
Since You walked into the flame
Still there is the pain before the glory
And it is Your will I must embrace
Oh for grace...

...And a heart that knows You
Is a heart that can wait
Die to the dearest desire
...And a heart that knows You
Is a heart that can still celebrate
Following love through the fire

It may be for my sake
Just to help me grow
Maybe for Your Kingdom, Lord
I don't need to know...

The last dregs of my coffee are cold... the clouds are still floating by... my paperwork is still not done... but I don't care. I'm in New York City. I'm scared and uncomfortable. I'm nervous and excited all at the same time. And I have a loving Savior who has been down this road ahead of me; who speaks a word in my ear to turn to the right or the left; who holds my hand and wipes my tears. I am home.


At 3:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Skees family,

Gosh, I wish we were closer...we would be such good friends! I know that sounds crazy since we don't know each other but as a sister in Christ it makes perfect sense. You always say beautiful stuff that shows your heart and it is awesome.

The other day when I was going through a common but scary (to me) procedure, I thought of Ellie and she was my imspiration for that moment. We know the Lord is my strength but somehow knowing Ellie goes through a lot of stuff helped me.

I lost my dad too, I was age 6.5, and he was a believer and it is my great joy that we will see each other again and get to share so many things. What a blessing to have Godly dads!

Always praying for you, Sheri in Montana (the lady who sold Loretta the Golden Retriever)

At 3:15 PM, Blogger Robyn said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I'm an MK too (my parents are with SIM and worked in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya) and I remember when your Dad went missing.
This world scares me a lot, until I remember that my Father walks the road with me, holds my hand and NEVER lets go. I'm glad He is there with you and your family too. I'm praying for you.

At 8:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Skees,

A friend told me to go to your site, and your blogs about your faith in God is such an encouragement and blessing. I love seeing your faithfulness to God. Thanks for persevering and my prayers are with your daughter.

a fellow mk


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