–By Sara Johnson
Many who would follow this blog and support both this trip and my overall non-profit endeavor know much more about me and my family beyond this experience. It’s been a while since I have published on any blog forum, but prior to that drought I was a fairly consistent writer. I wrote because writing soothes my soul, shifts life into greater perspective, and encourages me to forge ahead even when life is hard.
My primary writing outlet in recent years has been for my family’s blog where we share together what it is like to be part of a family facing terminal illness. For those who don’t know, my father was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor in April 2011 and given 18-24 months to live. Upon hearing the news, my family gathered together in our kitchen stunned, saddened, fearful. I remember looking at my sister Katy and my dad and saying to them, “Well, I guess we’ve had our last trip to Asia together,” before collapsing into the sadness of that realization.
This passion I have to travel, to learn, to assist, and to empower is not mine alone. It’s one I share with two of my family members in particular. Over the years we have traveled to the far reaches of the world, anxious to do our small part to alleviate the suffering we found when we got there. The thought that we would never again journey together was deeply painful.
Yet I sit here now, nearly three years later, writing on the eve of our group’s departure. My dad is in the next room working through what he will pack for yet another journey and I just emailed my sister in Rome to share how much I look forward to meeting her in Thailand. And I find I’m a bit teary, wanting to soak up every bit of this moment. For it’s not often that you are acutely aware that you are part of a miracle. And in this moment I am overwhelmed knowing that I am.
The assembly of this particular team and the funds needed to get us on our way has been similarly miraculous. After months of fighting to make things work the way I wanted, I finally surrendered my initial plan and agreed to listen to God rather than myself. In response to letting go, suddenly each piece fell into place at just the right time with an ease I can only describe as miraculous. I followed his nudges on who to invite to join me, thrilled with those who answered with a resounding yes. I stepped out in faith, trusting him to lead me to just the right donors who gave generously in response. I surrendered control and in doing began to see the miracle building around me.
As a result, as I sit here writing in the quiet of my room I feel my expectation building. For whatever reason, I’m certain God has ordained this particular journey with this specific team of people at this particular time. I cannot predict in any way what will happen when we arrive, what lives will change, what we will take with us when we return, or what we will leave behind, but I know deep in my soul that something big is about to happen. Something miraculous. And I can’t wait to share it with you.