I am finally posting a blog. For whatever number of reasons I have sucked at posting blogs about my time in India...it mostly has to do with the fact that I have been personally responsible for posting most of our team blogs coupled with the fact that our internet is somewhat spastic and decides to quit working far too often. Enough excuses though, 3 is a sad number of posts in blogland considering I have been in India for coming up on 9 weeks now. Without further adieu, I bring you India-blog-post-number-four...
Today is my birthday. Today I have ended my 26th year of life and have begun to embark on my 27th. I remember when I was a kid and my grandpa pointed that fact out to me, that when you have a birthday, you are ending the year that actually corresponds with the age you are turning...a simple bit of logic but one that my young brain had never before digested. It made me feel so wise and mature to be able to brag that I was headed into my next year of life, since naturally it made me sound older and I wanted nothing more than to be just that: older. It is safe to say that my mentality has changed a lot since I was a kid and all I wanted to be was another year older so I could gain more freedoms and try new things. Though turning a year older still holds some excitement for me, it also has begun to hold weight; one year older means one year closer to actually feeling "old," one year less to live, one more year without a steady career, money in the bank, and a husband...all the things the world seems to be telling me I need to be stable. It is significant for me to be in India on my birthday for the second year in a row because India has been so much of my life lately. God has been showing me so much of myself here (at moments that can be a scary thing) and I feel myself becoming who I am supposed to be in doing what I love doing: living cross-culturally and serving others. Though I have insecure moments where I question if I would be better off pursuing a "real" career, I know that nothing can satisfy like doing what you feel called to be doing. I therefore find myself completely content on the eve of my 27th year of life because I know that being here is crucial to being who I am today.
March in India marks the end of the extremely short winter here which follows the torrential downpours of monsoon season. The joke among Indians is that the seasons go directly from winter to summer...and they couldn't be more serious. Even though winter isn't exactly cold (at all), summer is BLAZING hot and the temperature has already climbed to the mid-90s, which feels over 100 degrees with the humidity. Today, we visited a village church where we know the pastor and his wife. The painstaking 3 hour service would have been awesome and enjoyable had it not been for the temperature inside the tiny concrete room. We guesstimated that the temperature inside the room was over 100 degrees considering that when we walked back outside after 3 hours, the 90-some-odd-degree day literally felt cool. We were all so hot and sweaty that two of us nearly fainted while sitting in chairs inside the hot oven of a room. Suffice it to say, it was a very challenging and uncomfortable 3 hours which will help you to understand that why, a couple of weeks back when it was raining, we were beyond excited. The first day it rained here I spent a long time outside just letting the drops hit my skin. I got soaked but it was completely worth it, I love the rain. That very day I actually (and quite earnestly) prayed and asked God if he would bring me rain on my birthday. This morning when I woke up the sky was clear and it was obvious that it was going to be hot and sunny. I thought about my prayer and laughed to myself thinking, "how cool would it be if it rained," and I again prayed that God would bring the rain, even though I didn't think it was at all possible considering I was doubtful God would answer such a silly prayer. Oh me of little faith... This afternoon after enduring the hottest 3 hour church service ever, a bunch of us were sitting chatting in my room and got on the subject of my prayer for rain on my birthday. We all laughed it off and moved on to talking about something else. Less than 5 minutes later I was gazing out the window (at the very SUNNY day) and all of sudden I heard rain drops and saw wet spots multiplying on the ground. I was so shocked that I completely interrupted Bethany and yelled, "IT'S RAINING!!!!!!!!!!" We all ran outside and were jumping around like idiots. The day was still bright and sunny and we all looked up into the sky asking, "where is this even coming from?!" There was one small dark-ish cloud directly above our house (no exaggeration) and it was raining JUST on and immediately around our house! Across the street, not 30 feet from where we were standing, the ground was completely dry and there was no rain! I thanked God so much for the wonderful gift of joy he granted me on my birthday. It seemed like such a silly thing but God knew that it would bring me joy as well as stand as such an amazing testament to his faithfulness because he DOES answer our prayers, even small ones!
Every day spent in India comes complete with new lessons and little glimpses into the real-ness of God. Being here is like staring him in the face sometimes, that is how tangible Spirituality is here. Even though I am far away from many of my friends and my whole family on my birthday, I am comforted that I am where I am supposed to be, and God is a God of miracles, JUST when we need them.