When Jay and I moved to Guatemala in 2008 we knew we were running our race and following the path God had given us. All we could see was one step at a time. We looked back on that often in awe of how well God knows His children. We did not know He would hand pick a family here in Guatemala for us, or how hard it would be to take in so many children and see them leave in later years. We did not know how hard it would be to live in a foreign country and learn the language and customs. We never thought that either of us would get a terminal disease. For 6 years, we knew Jay had the disease and we fought the best battle we could.
During that time, Jay grew in his love and devotion for his family. Things became less important to him and loving people and loving his family became the core of everything he did. He often saw friends having petty arguments in their friendships and in their marriages and just wanted to get through to them that family and loving people is all that matters. I say ‘petty’ arguments, because when you are faced with a terminal disease and really have a short time, you see so much as petty. You realize that love is a decision and takes work. Jay and I both realized that the little things don’t matter. What matters is loving others and giving of yourself. Showing people, the love of God. What matters is loving others and giving of yourself. Showing people the love of God.
When Jay passed away in July, I saw so many things differently. In his last days, I sat by his side and told him of all things he will get to do in heaven, all of the people he will see, and all the mysteries he would find out about. While he laid there we dreamed together about heaven.
I have been having to fight for peace and joy in my household. With a house full of teenagers (who have a tendency to be selfish) and another house full of babies and toddlers who were born with a selfish nature, I have been fighting for peace and purpose. In these times I have found myself talking to the kids about what really matters in life. Jay did not stand before God and have God congratulate him on the XBOX games he completed or how many cookies he got, or the clothes he wore. Jay stood before God and was accountable for how he loved and how he showed Gods love. I really believe God won’t mention too much more. What measurement stick will God use for us when we are face to face with Him?” Will he ask me if I won all my arguments or if got to do all I wanted to do?
If I start judging my life and actions based on the measuring stick that I believe God will use on me, I should also start seeing others through those same eyes. I need to see others the way God sees them!
Another question I have that Jay talked about in his last weeks was whether I was ready to be face to face with God and have Him judge me. How will he find me? I know He judges the thoughts and intents of my heart and the fruit that is produced. What is in my heart, my thoughts, and what are my fruits? Jay loved to say, “Love always wins.” He is right. In the end that is what we are left with. The petty stuff does not matter.
If you are annoyed or fighting with someone, analyze–is it worth it? What would love to? Choose to love or walk in love even with the unlovely and difficult. Sometimes it is easier when they are a stranger than when they are family. I have seen God put our family together and I know that love is truly a choice.
Houses of Destiny are moving forward. This year has been a year of growth, stabilizing and healing for us. We have two homes and several missionaries that partner with us and we are so grateful for their support. I am grateful for all of you. I know many of you did not have a chance to talk with Jay in the last years, but this is what he would have talked about. How are you loving?
In this last year we have taken in several new babies and toddlers who came from loveless lives where no one really ‘cared’ for them let alone loved them. Only the love of God can heal and will heal. We move forward growing the homes so we can love more children and help them grow and heal but that is only possible by the love of God and the help of wonderful people like you who make it possible though prayer, giving and some of you visiting. We pray that as you sow into the children of Guatemala that God will send people to show love to you and your family.
Thank you for all your support. Love always wins.