Thursday, July 16, 2015

{Guatemala} God makes us new

We spent our last day in Guatemala on the black sand beach at Puerto San Jose. The Pacific Ocean waves were mighty, but the men and kids found their way in and out of the white caps. The women snapped many pictures. After a week of serving, we rested in each other and God’s beauty.

That afternoon, Cate came to me from where she had been digging in the sand and said, “Mom, can I talk to you?”

I leaned toward her, thinking she was going to tell me about all the sand that had piled up in her bathing suit or ask another question about just how the volcanic ash created a black sand beach. “No, over there,” she urged wanting me to step away from our friends.

We walked a few steps away and she says, “I want to be baptized in a few weeks.”

My heart melted in that moment. This had been brewing. We’d have conversations many Sundays for months when the communion elements were passed through the congregation. She asked about what accepting Christ and baptism meant. Greg and I have shared our stories over time with her. But, really, it had been awhile since we talked about it, even though I’d been praying for her faith journey.

Standing in our bathing suits on the edge of Guatemala, I asked my girl some questions and then called Greg over to join our conversation. (And, yes, our team leader and friend Kim snapped the photo of us huddled together, not knowing what we were discussing but noticing the moment seemed important.)

Cate repeated to Greg what she had told me. We talked more about sin and separation from God and how Jesus makes eternal life possible. Knowing her personality is so much like mine, I reminded her that even when we choose to live for Jesus, we’ll still make mistakes. This life is a process of becoming more like Jesus. {Tweet that.} But it won’t be until we’re in heaven that we’re made complete and perfect. I hope she grasps this earlier than I did.

God makes us new – and seeing my daughter accept this truth was such a sweet moment, especially after everything we’d seen and experienced together that week. We had a front row seat to joy and poverty like never before. Really, the whole mission trip reminded me of “Inside Out” and how sadness and joy co-exist.

Earlier in the week, Cate said, “I should trust God more. These people trust God even though they don’t have much.” To hear her deeper understanding of needing Jesus will forever be a favorite moment in mothering her. Sure, it actually has nothing to do with me and everything to do with God. But I’m grateful that’s the kind of God we get to serve together.

While I wasn’t expecting this conversation that day, God knew it was coming. God told us to go to Guatemala, and I’m so glad we got to see another piece of his plan for our family. Cate’s revelation was the perfect ending to a week that stretched my faith and gave me a refreshed perspective as we served others.

This is the second in my reflections from our mission trip to Guatemala last week. More stories are coming, but until then you can see all my pictures here. Other Guatemala posts :: On hearing God say GO. On building foundations & threading love

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  1. PTL, so exciting a new sister in Christ!!! <3

  2. KristinHillTaylor7/16/2015 8:36 AM

    Amen. :)

  3. It is so awesome how God's plan is so PERFECT! So happy for sweet Cate!

  4. KristinHillTaylor7/16/2015 9:33 AM

    Thanks for celebrating with us, Zori! :)

  5. I love the picture - the sand is so dark, like our hearts without Christ. And the huddled closeness of family :) So sweet! They grow up so fast Kristin...

  6. KristinHillTaylor7/21/2015 7:16 AM

    Oooh, I hadn't even thought about the symbolism of the black sand. I did, of course, think of all the analogies of the ocean and being washed clean. They do grow up fast - so grateful for this moment with my girl.

  7. I'm just making my way over here to read this Kristin and there are tears. Because of that childlike faith and because it reminds me of the joy of our little man accepting Jesus. There is just nothing that makes our hearts more full than to know our kids have tasted and seen God's goodness for themselves - and that they'll get to do so forever. Thanks for sharing more of your adventure with us - God is good.

  8. KristinHillTaylor7/21/2015 9:25 PM

    It's one of those moments you pray happens, but it still manages to surprise when it does. God is so good to give us this goodness. So grateful to see what more he does with her and our family. I'm grateful for friends like you to be part of the journey in some way or another.