Tuesday, December 22, 2009

When God Builds a Family: a letter to all my kids

When God builds a family, He doesn’t always like things to be all matchy-matchy. It’s not like when you’re redecorating a bedroom and you go buy the bed in the bag because that’s the easiest and you know for sure that your comforter will match your shams which will match your valance.

When God builds a family, he doesn’t care much that the shams match the valance.

God doesn’t build a family the way some people shop at JCPenney’s for ensembles. God likes to build families like the seasoned, well-traveled buyer for an exotic boutique, who with an unlimited budget, scours the Earth for the perfect pieces that come together to tell the perfect story at just the right time.

Did you know that when God set out to build our family, He criss-crossed oceans to find us all? It wasn’t easy, let me tell you. You see, for God to build our family, He had to get Mommy and Daddy together in the same place so that we could fall in love.

Well, in many cases, it’s not that big of a deal for God to arrange a meeting between Mommies and Daddies. But, our story was a little trickier – it took a lot of advanced planning to make it work out just right.

You see, before Daddy was born, when He was just God’s Really Good Idea, your Amma & Appa lived far, far away in India – where jackfruit grows rampant and elephants walk the streets. And, before Daddy could be born, God had to bring Amma & Appa together so that they could get married.

That was a tricky case too. Things started of smoothly because Amma & Appa lived in the same town. But, when Appa got to be a little bigger, he had to go fight in the army. He traveled all around India and China and Bangladesh fighting for his country. It was very dangerous, and a long time went by when no one knew where Appa was. Everyone assumed that he had died.

This is what we call a “turning point” - because at this point in the story, Amma’s family was looking for a match for her. They looked at many boys, but they never looked at Appa because they thought that he was dead.

Now, God knew that if He was going to build our family, He was going to have to get Amma & Appa together. So, he saved Appa during that dangerous war, and one day, Appa walked back into that hot Indian village. A match was made, and your Amma & Appa got married.

Well, I’m sure that God was pleased that He’d accomplished that tricky match that almost never was. But, He still had a big job ahead of Him.  God knew that if Mommy & Daddy were going to meet, it sure wasn’t going to happen if Daddy lived all the way over in India with the jackfruit and the elephants.
God knew that Daddy had to be born in America.

There are people who will tell you stories that will make you believe that it’s easy for immigrants to come to this country. But, the truth is that your Amma had to work really had to come here, and even after all of her hard work, she still needed some miracles to make it all happen.

But, God was building our family, so He made those miracles happen. And, finally, one day your Amma flew to America with eight dollars and the hope that a letter she had written months before would result in someone picking her up at the airport.

I know it seems like the hard part was over. But Grandma & Pop-Pop weren’t easy to get together either. And, if Grandma & Pop-Pop didn’t get together, there would be no Mommy. And, if there had been no Mommy, then you wouldn’t be here either.

Grandma & Pop-Pop look like they match, which makes it seem like they were easy to put together, but back when Mommy was just God’s Really Good Idea, they didn’t match at all. You’ll have to see pictures to believe me, but basically, the point is that God had to get Pop-Pop into the churchy world if Pop-Pop was going to meet Grandma, and Pop-Pop was nowhere near the churchy world.

Pop-Pop had decided just like Appa to join the army. Like Appa, he didn’t have the opportunity to go to college, and so the army seemed like the next best thing. This was when God saw His opportunity to get Pop-Pop over into the churchy world where Grandma was. God sent a man named Bob to tell Pop-Pop that Jesus loved him. Pop-Pop eventually believed him, but Bob thought that if Pop-Pop didn’t get into the churchy world, he’d probably get himself into some trouble in the army.

So, Bob got Pop-Pop a chance to play basketball and go to college at the very place that every single person in Grandma’s family went to college.

When Grandma met Pop-Pop, he was scraggly and skinny, and a little uncomfortable having just been transplanted into the heart of churchy-ness. The odds were stacked against them, for sure, but Pop-Pop moved fast and married Grandma before she could even finish college.

So, now, the stage had been set and most of God’s preparation work had taken place. Mommy & Daddy were still just Really Good Ideas, but ideas that would at least be born in the same country.

I don’t know how old you’ll be when you realize that Mommy & Daddy don’t look the same. We’re alike in a lot of ways, but we’re different colors. For the most part, no one really notices, but there will always be people who think that’s a big deal. You know what? I actually think it’s a big deal too.

I think it’s a big, cool, amazing deal.

The fact that we don’t look alike is my little reminder that God had to work extra hard to match us together. It reminds me that we are not a bed-in-a-bag family, but that we were hand-selected to coordinate and complement and make each other shine.

You too, kids. You are all amazing, interesting products of an extravagant treasure hunt that has spanned the globe. We are not a matchy-matchy family, but we are a family a built by God.


linds said...


Kristin said...

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

p dub said...


Adrianne Thompson said...

absolutely beautiful friend. I can't wait for you to continue the story into your lives and your children's lives. I'm so thankful for your friendship and the ways you open my eyes to see God's beauty and creativity.

Rachel Carter said...


Ritu said...

I LOVE this post!!

Tricia said...

Absolutely beautiful, Sus. Your story-telling is captivating.

Sheena said...

That's beautiful! You express yourself so well! =)

K said...

That is just an amazing story and I love how you tell it! It makes me want to write down our story for our children, as well! Thank you!!!