Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Tribute to My Daughter


It was the perfect dress.   It was elegant and could even be worn with a black shirt underneath to make it more Central Asian appropriate.  We had been looking at the different stores for a potential banquet dress for W.   It was July, and the banquet would not be until May.   We knew it would be our best opportunity to find what we wanted since we would be leaving in a few weeks to go back to Central Asia.  An hour or so later, we found a pair of black sandals to match the ensemble.

It is now past the date of when the banquet was suppose to be, and the dress is still hanging in the closet unworn.  There was no banquet.  There was no closure or even graduation.  W now has a diploma saying she graduated but there was no ceremony.   This is W's life.

We moved overseas when W was in 7th grade.  According to the experts, it could be a rough transition.  Instead, we saw our daughter blossom as she found her style with a mix of Western and Central Asian clothes.  She was still quiet but came out out of her shell as she found her place at the international school where she attended.  Who would have known she would one day take dance and love it?  Who would have known that her basketball team would take a trip to China, or that she would love helping with the costumes and sets for the school's next production?  W was her own unique lady finding her way in a culture that was not her own.

Life was not always easy.  Friends would come and go.  It seemed like she always had to say good bye to a friend who was leaving to go to another place.  She never complained, but I know it was hard.   In each season, God provided a friend but making new friends can be challenging.  She gracefully wore the required modest clothing, giving it her own touch.    Even when it was hot, she did not complain.   In our time here, we have known at least 5 people who have been killed.  One of those was a good friend of hers.   Tears flowed freely at our house.  We asked if it was time to go back to the states.  She said, "No.  We should stay. " In January, our school closed just as she had one semester left until graduation.  It was stressful, but she sought with us the best option to finish her out well.   She did not complain about what might have been.   It was just part of this life our family had chosen.

W is not perfect.  In many ways, she is an ordinary teenager who loves watching movies, wearing fun clothes and often fights with her brother, but she is her own unique person.  In her, I see Jesus.  She has made our family's calling her own.  She loves this land just as much as we do.  With Jesus, she has weathered many storms.  Many days you can hear sweet hymns coming from her room as she sings her praise.  With Jesus, she stepped out of her comfort zone this year and helped lead her youth group.  We see God working in her as she makes decisions about her future.  Her father and I can not take credit for the lady she is becoming.  God is working in her, and I can't wait to see how He will continue to use her in the coming years.

We can look back and mourn that our school closed or that there was no banquet.  We could even complain that life was hard but then we would miss the blessings- the blessings of a close family, a strong faith, and the opportunity to serve faithfully.   We would have missed out on the adventure God has for us here in this place and this time. Life was not easy or predictable but God was good and faithful.  I as a mom am thankful for God's work in my daughter as He as worked in her, protected her, and allowed her to blossom here in this land.

This tribute is not to say how great my daughter is, even though I think she is pretty great.  It is to say that God works, loves, and is there even when things are hard.  On a side note, this next week we will have a graduation party with the other family we have been doing school with, and she will get to wear her dress.    Blessings, TJ

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