Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed. I have been so sick the past several days. I go to work, I go to school, I take care of Taiger...I am so, so sick. My head pounds. My throat aches. My body is shaking and tired. Today, I was thinking about my idea of doing an internship this summer and then staying for a study abroad this next fall, and I got this overwhelming feeling of, "China? Really? WHY?!?!?!" I think, "I can't do it." I think, "It is too big for me." I think my Chinese isn't good enough. I think I will be worn out. I wonder who will tend Taiger. I wonder how going to China may affect/RUIN his life. I get scared thinking of WORKING for a BUSINESS as an INTERN. And how will I do my homework in Chinese? I can't even read the simple homework I have now, and it is meant to teach me Chinese. What happens when I have a chemistry class in Chinese, huh?! How will I have time to study? How will I study, period? How will I know the words on the homework? Why would a company want me for an intern? What happens if I get sick? Who will take care of Taiger? Who will take care of ME?! What if I get REALLY sick and Taiger is without someone to look after him while I am sick? What about when it is really, really cold in the winter? What if I don't understand my employers? How will I understand them? How will I understand my professors? Who will help me study? How am I doing this? Why am I doing this?
And then I remember that little boy's hand pressed to me. That Chinese boy, begging for money, his face down-turned, his hand raised to me, begging for money for food. I remember the man with the bone sticking through his leg, staring at the sky, waiting for God to take him away, and his wife begging for food for them. I remember the woman with her baby in her arms, trying to use the ends of her jacket to shield her baby from the wind and biting cold. I remember giving her my blanket. She grabbed my hand. As a Mother, I now understand even more what that brief moment of holding my hand was expressing. I remember crying as I walked down the street after giving money to a family who was begging for money to pay for their daughter's heart surgery. I remember the tears in the mother's and father's eyes. I remember one of the first beggars I saw in JingMen. A little girl, maybe 7-10 years old. She had written her story on paper and laid it out near her, with pictures of her parents on either side. I remember the yearning I had to bring that girl home with me. Of course, when I asked her to come to my home, she refused...I am sure she was scared out of her mind of the crazy white person saying in a mix of English and "my-first-weeks-in-JingMen-before-I-spoke-Chinese" Chinese saying something about going to her house. I remember the little girl from the countryside, who, on the eve of Thanksgiving, pressed her face to the window of where GaoFei and I sat inside the warm KFC Restaurant eating dinner. I motioned to her to wait a moment. I am sure she was afraid, but maybe a glimmer of the hope of warm food kept her waiting. In the end, as I set the bag of food near her on the sidewalk, she wouldn't take it from me. She was scared and wanted to run away...again, maybe the warmth coming from the sack, maybe the smell of warm food, kept her there. I motioned to her that the food was for her. She didn't believe it. Because she seemed afraid of me, I left the bag and hurried back into KFC, but I watched the girl and the food from the corner of my eye. She went to the food and reached in the bag as a woman and a small boy approached, clearly her Mother and brother.
They were no doubt country children, come from their farms to beg in the winter, as their farms lay quiet and fruitless under a skiff of snow. The hot streets of summer held quite a few beggars, but nothing like in the winter, when the farmers were completely without money. The women, the children, dressed in thin clothes, their eyes cast down, their hands reaching up, longing, yes BEGGING. for something, for anything.
It is for those people, each life I couldn't save, each mouth I couldn't feed, each hand I couldn't warm. They are why I must return. They are why I must face the fear, the unknown, the risks, the loneliness, the homesickness. They are why I face the anxiety of an internship and study abroad. For them. And for the people waiting for me and Taiger to take them in our arms and to love them.
I admit, it is for me and Taiger, too. To save us from the dangerous life we could lead...the life of comfort, of complacency, of apathy. It is too risky to stay here, to be too comfortable, to have too much. I worry about Taiger growing up and never being on a T-Ball team. I worry about him never going to birthday parties. I worry about him never having a large house with a big back-yard and a comfortable bedroom with a big bed and toys. I worry I will never have "that" house...you know, the one you always want, with a big door and eye-ball lights. With soft colored paint and natural wood colored kitchen cupboards. But I worry more that Taiger will never grow close to God through serving His children. I am worried Taiger and I will live rich in the poor things, when it is better to live poor in the rich things. I worry Taiger will never feel that overwhelming joy, that REAL joy, that comes when you truly serve...or when you truly give of yourself. I worry about his spirit. More than anything else in this life, I want Taiger to have a strong Testimony in The Atonement, of The Book Of Mormon, of the Bible. I want him to know and have a testimony of God and Jesus Christ and The Holy Ghost. I want to live a life so full of The Spirit that he grows used to it, and if a day came when he wandered from the Straight and Narrow Path, if he let go of the Iron Rod, even for a moment, he would sense it, he would FEEL it in his heart, and he would MISS it. Serving so fully, living the way I did in China, turns your heart to God. You depend on Him more. You feel closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I believe when you serve people who are hurting for food, for items and for LOVE, you feel The Spirit so much closer.
Gosh, I know this is a messy post. I wish I could express myself better. I know if anyone ever reads this post, they will be, like, "WHAT?!?!?!?!" I just...I know that feeling that comes with serving so passionately. I want that for Taiger. T-Ball? Really? In God's Eternal Plan, do you think He would be happy if Taiger stayed in America and played T-Ball? ABSOLUTELY! He would be SO HAPPY that Taiger was in a loving home, with a good family, that he was safe and being raised in the gospel, and that he was healthy and able to play baseball. But don't you think that if it is God's will that we go to China, that he knows Taiger's FULL potential? That He knows all the good Taiger could do in the world? That if we turn our lives over to God, that He has a much richer, more meaningful plan for our lives than maybe we do?