My public journal voice has been silenced; hence no blog entries since the presidential inauguration. Five months later, I have plenty to grip about; however, I just want to be grateful for all that I have: a God who is faithful and keeps His promises, a house with a roof and food in the frig, teens and spouse to sup with, laughter and joy of friends, a shoulder to lean and cry on, a thriving mother daughter relationship, in which I am the mother or the daughter in either instance, and a healthy mind striving for a healthy lifestyle: spiritual, physical, social, and emotional.
Amazingly life’s circumstances—illness, divorce, job loss, death—ours or someone else’s, can give us a new perspective on life. So if you’re in need of a fresh outlook, read Immaculee Ilibagizi’s second book Led by Faith: Rising from the Ashes of Rwandan Genocide. This book reminds me of God’s faithfulness and how we must not waver when we put our life in his hands. While going through one of my own tests—accepting that I was not selected for the ideal job, lack of experience—Immaculee’s faith to trust God with everything, although she literarily had nothing, caused me to look at what I did have and be grateful. In the book, the Rwandan genocide survivor gives two miraculous stories: one from her own experience and another someone else’s.
One day Immaculee needs an emergency visa. She gets to the office and the woman tells her the man who can issue visas is out of the office and will not return until next week. Immaculee pleads, the woman tells her to go away. Immaculee sits in the waiting area and prayers. She thanks God for all she has and reminds Him that he promised if she asked he would answer. She prayers for hours, each time taking a breath to open the visa believing it would be stamped. Soon the woman tells her the office is closing and she must leave. Immaculee sits outside the office and speeds up God giving him seven o’clock deadline. Immaculee continues to pray. The woman looks out the window bewildered that Immaculee is still waiting. At the eleventh hour, when God is known to show up, a large car pulls up in front of the building, a man steps out, the woman opens the window and points to Immaculee. Immaculee’s visa is stamped. She waited on the Lord, even in the darkest hour.
Immaculee tells another story of a young girl shielded from killers by a lioness. The author clarifies that people in her village were not sure if this tale was true, but it was one that when told continually strengthen faith. This young girl was separated from her family when trying to escape the killers. Alone in the woods the killers, one or two, returned to where the girl had been left. Upon their appearance, the girl began to pray for God to send His angels to protect her. A lioness came and scared off the killers. The next day, the killers returned again, only to find the lioness with the girl. Immaculee says that the lioness cared for this child until the day her parents found her. And when the parents came, the lioness left without a roar.
After reading this story, these faith experiences, my thoughts: “How strong is my faith?” “Would I too be able to wait on the Lord?” The answer: “yes.” Hence I am grateful and will share my public voice once a week.