Thursday, November 11, 2010

Inspiring Faith: The Audrey Edition

Below you will find a blog post written by one of my former students at Woodrow Wilson High School. Her name is Audrey Spurgin. She is awesome.I know the Lord is using her in mighty, mighty ways. She is with a team from Adventures in Missions that is living in India right now ministering to young women, many of whom, are coming out of or are in the midst of such dire circumstances, my brain cannot even fathom.Oh yeah, Audrey is 19 years old. Yep, 19. Inspiring Faith? YES, i believe so. This post touched me so much yesterday, I HAD to share it with you.

For You are My Beloved: originally posted on india.adventures.org by Audrey Spurgin on 11/6/2010

"I wish that I could explain in more than just words how beautiful she is.

I wish that I could scream to her just how much she is loved.

She is worthy, she is WORTH it.

That all her troubles, all of her hardships, all of the issues and problems that never seem to go away are only shaping her to who she is meant to be, and that her life has VALUE.I wish that I could tell her that even though her dad abandoned her, and her mom died, that she is worthy of a family, of a people, that love her.

I pray that she knows just how wide, how deep and how GOOD His love really is. That she can pray all she wants, everyday, in pure dedication, begging to the gods that it wasn't her mom's time to go, that if her mom is not here with her that her life is not worth living. But in the end, all the prayers, blessings, and yearning are nothing but pure air.I want her to know. I want her to know a love that is bigger and better than air, better than life, better than anything that can be described, understood, or even fathomed.

Her name is four beautiful letters. She has a HUGE personality! I mean this girl can put on a show. She is always the loudest, always ready to make a comment. She is outspoken, stubborn, joyful, relational, giving, loyal, a friend, and more than I could ask for. She and I are similar, very similar, (and no, this story won't end with me describing me).

But her story breaks my heart. She has captivated a piece of my heart. She intrigues me, because every time that we sent down to talk, she is intentional. She lets a little bit more of who she is, and part of her story into my life.

So day two of working with these girls, she taught me an Indian dance. This is not exactly a traditional dance, this is like a "I am a 19 year old girl in a Bollywood film" kind of dance. We were laughing and joking around and we were constantly laughing at each other. From this point on, we have been inseparable. This girl has a big attitude, but a lot of love to give. This is what makes her so special to me. She is a fighter, a girl with a dream, a vision. This girl has heart. There are few things that can stand in her way. She has her mind set. She, to me, just keeps going.

About 10 years ago her mom died. Her dad got re-married to another woman and left her alone. Her stepmom didn't want to take care of her, and since she was an only child, it was easier for her dad to just pick up and leave. Since this day, they have not seen each other, or even talked.

She was rejected. Left alone. So she moved in with her auntie and uncle. She has her own room. She is literally on her own. Cooks, cleans, works, everything she must do and provide for herself. She calls herself a burden.

She works at this place called the Soda Shop (which is well known in the area). Works twice a day, except Monday is her holiday. So as she begins to tell me all these things, it seems as though there is something more. Something that she is leaving out.

She walked into stitching class one day and something was off. Something wasn't right. I knew it from the moment that she walked in. Our normal greeting is me yelling her name and her running over to me with a huge smile on her face and she shakes my hand (I always go for the hug, but that never happens in India, so we are working on it). Then we sit next to each other in the circle and instantly start talking about anything of interest that day.

But this day was different. This day she was quiet. She walked in blank stare, sat down, and for a good 10 minutes she said nothing. Nothing. So I walked over to her and sat behind her. I began to ask her about her day and she ignored me. When I finally got a word out of her, she said, "I'm fine teacher, I don't want to talk." So I just sat there in confusion. I began to pray and just ask the Holy Spirit. I asked because I didn't know what else to do.

She began speaking really quickly in Hindi to the stitching teacher, and I kept going back and forth trying to pick up anything that I could in facial expressions to understand the conversation. All I got was that something was terribly wrong. The wind blew from outside and all the sudden the smell of kerosene took over.

That was it. Kerosene.

Kerosene is a big thing here when people try to commit suicide. Suicide, especially in girls here, is incredibly high. At least the attempt. Girls here are viewed as worthless, a burden. Nothing more than a money sucker to the family. Dowry, school, food, clothes, etc. Especially to the lower class.

So the teacher began to tell me what was wrong. I sat right next to her, holding her hand.

That morning she had covered herself in 7 liters of kerosene in attempt to burn herself. That morning her auntie and uncle were fighting more than normal. So she asked why it was so bad today, and they looked at her and said the reason that they were fighting, the reason that they even started fighting from the beginning was because of her. She had become a burden. They didn't ask for her. They just ended up with her, and now she is becoming a problem in their family. They just think it would be better if she wasn't here.

The teacher then explained that her neighbor has smelled the kerosene and ran in to see what was wrong. She found her standing in her room searching for a match. The neighbor took buckets of water and made her completely wash it off. She then just went on about her day.

So we pulled her aside, and began to just ask some more questions and just speak truth to her, allowing the Holy Spirit to connect us with her. She just looked right at me and said, "It would just be better if I wasn't here. I pray all the time to the gods, even your God, asking them why they took my mom away. I don't want to be here without her. It would be better if I wasn't here, because I want to be with her. They never answer. Everyday I go and ask the same questions, and they never answer. Nothing."

I began to ask her questions about her mommy, and what things she would do to remember her. She said that in her room she has a picture of her that is decorated and covered in flowers (which is a sign of blessing here) and she prays and talks to her everyday. She tells her things, but mostly asks why she left her alone.

So we prayed for her and talked some more just about life and how God knows what is best, even when we question Him all the time, above all His plan is perfect. We shared some stories about our own personal lives that just let her know that she was not intended to be alone in this, which is what is so beautiful about community!

I learn more and more about her everyday. The more that I learn, the more that we talk, the more that she trusts me. She asks for me when I am not there, I ask for her when she isn't there. She has become a best friend. She has become someone that I learn from, am challenged by, and that loves me well.

We have started this thing where in her journal that I teach her English in and she teaches me Hindi, we write encouraging notes back and forth for random surprises, and we always end with I love you.

It is a beautiful picture of how the Lord is chasing and seeking each of us. I wish that I could type about her for hours, and compare it to how the Lord is so perfect in each of our lives. How He is the one who allows moments like these of wanting and longing for people to just simply love. He has made her perfect. He has made her beautiful. And not only does He love her, but He loves her even when she can't love herself. I can't begin to know or understand it all. I can't begin to explain to her this world. I can't even explain to her how God works, because she has 330 million other gods that she could go to for answers.

But what I know is that she is His beloved. I know that even though she can't see Him as the one whom the love comes from, He uses each of us to share a love that is Him, that His love is an overflow in us. She may not know or understand, she may never really see a one true God. But because He is LOVE, she will experience a love like none other through His people; she will see a love that never fails. She is His favorite one. "

I alone will satisfy you.

Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.

Song of Solomon 8:6-7

4 comments:

Elyse said...

This story really touched my heart. Thanks for sharing. I'm praying right now for your friend in India and the girls she is impacting. God is so big.

By the way...I really hope you're serious about goats galore. I'll be checking my mail constantly starting December 1st. As for us, our card may be the back of Jax's head. He refuses to look at a camera. It's awesome.

Jennifer Hanson said...

Wow.

John and Sarah said...

Moved to tears and at the same time so grateful that I have never felt that desolate before.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the encouragement and support you continue to give Audrey! Her dad & I are so grateful to have such great people in our kids lives... Hope you guys are having the time of your life in Seattle.

A little advice for the future: (From a mother of four girls)

Let them wear whatever causes
the least amount of trauma!!!
HA...HA...

Have a great Thanksgiving & Christmas!

Jana (Audrey's mom)