26 August 2009

I Could Not Have Known

My sweet friend, Allison, wrote a post with this same title. A post that made me cry for a good ten minutes because it's just so sweet and true for me, as well.

And because imitation is the best form of flattery (and because I've been a tad busy with wedding stuff over the past few weeks to think of anything original to post), I decided that I'd copy her idea. Here goes...

I could not have known that in 2001 I would meet a group of people that would forever be tangled in my heartstrings. This group is like none other. It wasn't my first time to serve in ministry with a large group of people. But something clicked. I know, I know that the Lord brought these people into my life for more than just a season. And that makes me so incredibly joyful.

I could not have known that this summer of orphan ministry would affect me like none of the others had. The knowing that when "our" babies and kids would wake the morning after we'd left for the States, they might suffer the sense of abandonment all over again as they lay in their cribs. A feeling no child should know, but a feeling they know all too well. And though we'd spent countless hours playing with them, feeding them, praying over them, loving them, and laughing with them, the worry that we'd perhaps done some kind of harm by leaving them is still overwhelming.

I could not have known that when plans changed and ministry this summer for Livada was held in Gypsy villages, I would scan pictures for kids 10 years or older, looking for familiar faces. The faces I knew in 2001. After all, kids in Romanian orphanages were sent home, no matter the conditions of the home or family, in an attempt to rid Romania of its orphan "problem" so that membership in the E.U. could be attained.

I could not have known that one of the babies in the "Baby Mansion" would now be a nine year old who now knows the Lord. Or that I'd be able to share her adoption or decorate her birthday cake last year or plan help plan details of every birthday party from age 4-7 with her mom. I could not have known that her mom, Marieke, and I would be such good friends that we'd need to talk on the phone multiple times each week. And I don't even like to talk on the phone!

I could not have known that I would have so many happy memories with Patti, and now, Brent. I couldn't have known that I would save her emails so that I could re-read them and laugh out loud. Every. Single. Time. And she could not have known that I'd be an awesome friend and drive with her to see her hubby-to-be in Denver. That's no small feat, my friends. That's love. Especially when you have to drive through Kansas. Both ways.

I could not have known that this guy, the one person I knew on our team before we left, would be the person whose life is a testament to trusting the Lord. Like, really trusting. I could not have known that he'd marry this girl who is kind and wise and joyful.

I could not have known that I would take pictures of every crafty idea of Michelle's, just so I can recreate it. Again, imitation is the best form of flattery. Right?

I could not have known that my heart would be so happy when Candace's name appears on my caller ID. Though we don't talk nearly enough, we seem to pick-up where we left-off.

I could not have known that just last night I decided that our entire TM team would have our next reunion in New Haven, Connecticut. We'll have a blast with Allison & Matt and Kim & Jason + baby. (Jeremy agreed, but said my trips to Wisconsin might have to be cut back. It's so hard to have someone around who's financially responsible. Who cares if we have to eat oatmeal and Vienna sausage for a couple of weeks? It's a trip to New England. Which, by the way, he requested a fall trip.)

Nope, there is no way that I could have known that these people would remain an important part of my life, eight years later. Challenging me, making me laugh, loving me and recalling stories of how we would escape with babies from the orphanage, guerrila style.

I heart my TM team.


Christine said...

I love this. So much.

allison said...

Well said. All of it.

I heart you, Kristina.

And I say bring on the reunion in New England!!!