Today I turned thirty-three.
I felt a soft tugging in my heart to spend the morning of my birthday with the Lord. So I woke up early this morning, went straight to the beach by myself, and spent all morning with God.
Today I turned thirty-three. And I am dumbfounded with gratitude for how God swept me away with His raging love.
His. Insane. Grace.
Staring into the beauty I beheld this morning, God broke the silence. As He softly spoke, I saw the last ten years of my life unfold before me. I furiously wrote what He reminded me with.
I would like to share some of these reminders to you, and hopefully you will be blessed and encouraged by them.
Within the span of ten years,
I saw both my parents deteriorate physically and eventually pass away. In both events, I was in extreme and incomprehensible pain but in both times I have become stronger and more grateful than ever for my life. Though death is not something we perceive as a blessing, God does bring out elegance out of the ashes and strength that can only be refined by fire.
I left my home country, Philippines, to teach in the States and went back to Asia a very different person. I went to China, Taiwan, and Philippines with a missions team — something I would have never done or thought of on my own. Two years ago, I left North Carolina with my husband to become a fulltime missionary in Thailand. This was definitely not in my long-term plans, but then I am no longer the old Kezia.
I witnessed my teaching career rise, fall, and rise again. In the midst of all that, God never failed to show me He is with me no matter what. I became aware of His faithfulness in my life in very specific details. He opened my eyes to the work He is doing within me and around me.
I got my heart broken over a 5-year relationship. I thought that was the end for me of ever finding anyone. I married two years later an incredible, funny, and intelligent guy whom I am privileged to serve the Lord with.
I experienced being at the very bottom of myself — angry, helpless, losing hope. And I experienced God pulling me out of that very dark pit and pushing me up to show me there is more to life than what I was fixing my eyes on.
I met innumerable people I shared a meal with, a prayer, and a hug coming from different nationalities, backgrounds, and faiths. Each of whom is etched in my heart whether I remember their names or not. My soul is forever stamped and changed by the unique moments we shared.
I visited seven countries, Washington, D.C. and ten states of the U.S., some of which I only dreamt of going to as a child. I never really expected it to happen.
I learned to speak, read, and write Thai. Although I am still in the beginning stage, but I can sense how God has opened my mind to this language. Only He could have done this. I studied Chinese for 12 years, but I never quite learned it. Yet in 2 years of studying Thai, I can already communicate in basic ways with Thai people, read and understand Thai paragraphs, and even translate English paragraphs in Thai writing.
I experienced God speaking to me audibly through different means. I realized He has been speaking to me all throughout my life, but I never quite recognized His voice.
I gained a new family, new parents.
What I found in all of this is God. God.
And yes, I know He is not quite finish with me yet. There is still much work to do. I am stoked to witness more of Him and to know Him more in my life.
November 15, 2013
© 2013 Kezia Lewis. All Rights Reserved.