Tuesday, August 6, 2013

dear esther: your sister is leaving

dear esther,

you are about to make a huge sacrifice.  you are about to lose one of your favorite people in the whole world.  your little sissy, whom you call "la la" or "jay jay" or "si si" will be leaving us today to be reunited with her birth mother.  we have been anticipating this day for months, but there has been no way for us to explain it to you, so that you could prepare for it as we have.

you love your la la sissy.  i can see it in your eyes after you two have been apart for a few hours or a few days.  i see it in the way you always open our bedroom door while she is napping so you can wake her up to play.  i see it in the way that you try to imitate our care for her, trying to give her a bottle or a banana, or trying to change her diaper.  i even see it when you sit on her head or try to ride on her like a horse or attempt to poke out her eyes.  your love for her is precious to me, and it makes me happy and excited for you to have more siblings in the future (hopefully, by God's grace, many more).

esther, i love you so much and i need you to know something.  you were born into a family where this type of sacrifice will be the norm.  you see, your father and i are christians, we follow jesus and we take the commands of the bible literally.  we hope (by God's grace) to care for many orphans in our lifetime, because God adopted us when we were orphans.  some may join our temporary, earthly family, but others, like your la la, we will have to say good bye to (while praying that they join God's eternal family).  furthermore, in your lifetime, at least during your childhood, you probably won't have one place to call "home" as we anticipate moving several times, living in different cities and countries to fulfill God's call to us.  you will never own the nicest stuff (by american standards) or the latest things, but you are a part of a family who seeks to honor God with our possessions, not just make ourselves temporarily happy.

i don't know if these things will be easy or hard for you.  but my prayer is that you will meet them with joy, and that you will always sacrifice with joy.  my prayer is that you too would be a follower of Jesus and call yourself a christian and take the commands of the bible literally, sacrificing your life for others, because Jesus first sacrificed His life for you.

esther, you are named after two people: your great-grandmother and a queen from the bible.  queen esther also lived a sacrificial life entrusted to the God she served.  there was a point when she had the decision to preserve her life, or to risk losing it in order to speak up to the king for her people, who were to be annihilated.  her choice was to risk her life.  and when she made that decision, she said "if i perish, i perish" because she would rather sacrifice her life than waste it sitting in the comforts of her palace.

though by american standards our family lives quite simply, by the entire world's standards we are the richest of the rich.  you too, like queen esther, have the choice whether to live a comfortable, easy, bland life, never risking anything too much, or to risk everything to live by faith and follow jesus, trusting that following him is greater than all the riches of the earth.

undoubtedly, following him will be hard.  you may not even see many of the good results of your living by faith.  keep your eyes on jesus, and look forward to the reward of heaven.  i pray that you will cling to these verses in times of difficulty as i have:
By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king's edict. By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.
By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.
And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets- who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life.  Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised,  since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. (hebrews 11:23-40)

your mama

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful letter. Thanks for the reminder to live sacrificially.