Christ be Magnified

I saw this little snail in my backyard here in Texas, and he reminded me of France.

Almost a month ago, I woke up in Meulan-en-Yvelines, France, expecting to be there for three more months. These three months were packed with visits with friends, Red Cross activities, orchestra concerts, and yes, the dreadful goodbyes that I knew I was going to have to make. However, these goodbyes were set for the end of June, and I wasn’t going to think about them until then. 

I groggily walked out of my room after realizing it was 5:30 in the morning. What had woken me up so early? My eyes quickly focused in on my parents, who were feverishly packing our suitcases. My brain could not process what was going on, so I asked my mom what they were doing. She gently explained to me that we had been contacted by our missions agency, and they had informed us that they were booking flights back to Texas as soon as possible. Because of the pandemic across the world, we were not sure to find flights in July. We had to leave now.

The first thing I did was cry for a few minutes. I was going to have to leave so many wonderful people sooner than I had expected. I dreaded all of the calls, texts, and emails in which I would say bye. 7 months here was just not enough. After crying, I began to ask God questions. I wondered why in the world he would cut our trip short.  He had sent us here, and there was still work to be done. It didn’t make sense to me. Before I knew it, a huge wave of peace came over me. God reminded me that he is in control and that he knows what he is doing. I can have full confidence in him. So, I put on some worship music and began to pack my suitcase. My job was to glorify God through it all: in the coming, in the staying, and in the leaving. 

We found out later that day that our flights had been booked. We had a few days left in France to get packed up and to say bye to all of our beloved friends. It was difficult not to be able to do it in person, but God gave me the strength to say all of those goodbyes. What I had dreaded turned into a huge blessing as I got to reflect on the wonderful times I had had in this country that will always hold a piece of my heart. I got to thank each person for their kindness. I got to talk about the hope I have in Jesus even in a crazy time like this. 

Through all of the difficulty that the whole world is going through at the moment, I keep thinking of these verses:

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15

How true is that?!? I have absolutely no idea what will happen tomorrow, and our quick departure was proof of that. I had no control over the situation. Thankfully, I know who is in control. God, who loves me and has my best interest at heart, is completely in charge of everything that happens in my life. I prefer that he takes care of everything because he knows what he is doing way better than I do. The uncertainty of life is proof of my need for him every hour, minute, and second. 

So, here I sit, at my kitchen table in Forney, Texas, more than thankful for God’s provision. During this crazy time, I think all of us find ourselves in situations we didn’t expect ourselves to be in. I pray that we use this time to “ponder the loving deeds of the Lord” (Psalm 107:43b). He took me to France. He filled my time there with amazing people and experiences. He grew me in ways I never expected, teaching me truths that I will never forget. He reminded me that my passion to spread to Good News should be alive wherever I am. May this song be the cry of my heart:

Oh! Christ be magnified

Let His praise arise

Christ be magnified in me

Oh! Christ be magnified

From the altar of my life

Christ be magnified in me

If there is one thing I am certain of, it’s that I can’t be sad for long, for I have no idea what adventures God will lovingly take me on in the future. 

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2 Comments

  1. Dear Madeline,
    God is so amazing! He watches over us and protects us and guides us; and as we are obedient to His will, we are protected. I praise the Lord your family is safely back and you are still in contact with your friends back in France as a witness to His great care.
    Hope to see you soon!!!!!
    Love you!

    Like

  2. Madeline, your blogs are awesome, such a true testimony to The Lord’s presence in your life. You never hide your light under a bushel. No not you, you let your light shine brightly, because of The Holy Spirit who dwells in your heart.
    Grandpa and I are so very thankful for you and love you very much.

    Like

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