Monday, September 5, 2011

Hope that Does Not Disappoint

This is quite possibly the most inspirational and touching story I have followed in a long while.  It's the story of Ryan and Kim Mayeda.  I know Ryan and Kim through my sister and brother-in-law.  I learned how deep the hurts of this world can be through Ryan and Kim.  About a year and a half ago, they gave birth to their miracle baby, Kyla, who came after years of fertility treatments and trying to start a family.  Only six days later, they said goodbye to her on this side of heaven.  I remember getting a phone call from my sister asking me to pray because Kyla wasn't breathing on her own when she was born.  The next six days, I prayed for healing, I experienced one of the most vivid visions I have ever had from the Lord.  I was certain that the Lord was going to heal her precious body and bring hope and life to so many surrounding the circumstance.  So when Kyla entered into the arms of Jesus, I questioned how this could happen.  I still do not have the answers to that question.  As if that were not enough, when Ryan and Kim pursued adoption in the months after Kyla's short life, they experienced more hurt as two adoptions were disrupted.  Again, I questioned.  If I, only tangentially related to their story, questioned - it blows my mind to think of what the Mayedas went through over the past 18 months.

I can't honestly say how I would have responded and reacted.  I would like to say I would come out worshipping on the other side - but now that I'm a mother myself, I don't know.  It's the most difficult realization to come to, that your children are truly the Lord's and you are merely entrusted with their care this side of eternity.

In an effort to create a lasting legacy for their sweet daughter, Kyla, Ryan and Kim have started a foundation - Kids for Kyla.  To kick off the foundation, Ryan ran 200 miles across Colorado in 3 days.  Just thinking about running 200 miles makes me tired...but 200 miles in 3 days makes me want to curl up on the couch and eat Oreos while watching a Gilmore Girls marathon.  Over the past three days as he ran, I have been glued to Facebook/Twitter (see posts from his journey here) - watching his updates as he crossed the state.  Seeing posts of prayer requests for injuries and posts of pure joy in finishing.

This is one of my favorite pictures posted through the weekend.  Because it reminds me of the promise God has given us.  
Even through hurting times, the promise remains.

Ryan and Kim, through this weekend you have begun to answer those questions I have had over the past 18 months.  Watching you lean on your Beloved through this wilderness has inspired me to trust Him more.  As I followed Ryan running across Colorado, I realized that his race is much like life.  It's hard and it doesn't always go as planned.  We get hurt, we experience turmoil through life's hills and joys through life's companions.  Sometimes we just need to be carried.  But through it all, when we persevere, the Lord truly rewards our persistence.  Paul teaches about perseverance in Romans.  He tells us that through suffering we learn to persevere, and that perseverance brings about character, which brings about hope.  Watching your run, Ryan, I learned that hope often comes at the risk and hand of suffering.  Much like Christ, who suffered to bring us hope.  A hope that does not disappoint, and a hope that allows us to leave this life with questions.

Ryan's run (and Kim's administration of it!) showed me hope.  Hope of taking a heart-wrenching story and giving it a purpose on this side of heaven.  Hope of helping children find their forever families.  Hope of couples standing with full arms.  Hope that does not disappoint.

Their story gives me a new way to look at my day and my life.  I've learned that when you partner with God and concentrate on making yourself happy at a deep level, you benefit others too.  When you see a person living inspired, don't you start wondering how to be inspired yourself?  Ryan and Kim's story gives life a whole new perspective.  It teaches you to see the positive in your life right now.  When you actively work on your own happiness and role in this world, alongside your God-given dreams and visions, people will remember you as one who led a good life, and will use you as an example.  By fulfilling your own dreams you have not only taken - you have given back.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.  And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:1-5)

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