Friday, November 5, 2010

Now I Understand.

In the very last scene of Voyage of The Dawn Treader, Aslan tells the children that they are now too old to come back to Narnia. Lucy, through her tears says, "It isn’t Narnia, you know. It’s you. We shan’t meet you there. And how can we live, never meeting you?" To this Aslan replies that they will meet him there. And when Edmund asks whether he is there, too, Aslan answers, "I am. But there, I have another name. You must learn to know Me by that name. This was the very reason WHY you were brought to Narnia. That by knowing me here for a little while, you will know me better there."

I have a huge soft spot in my heart reserved specifically for the Chronicles of Narnia. Cheesy? I know. But you have to understand, I grew up listening to my father reading all the books aloud. My siblings and I would spend hours running around outside like ragamuffins, each playing a role of one of the Pevensies--or a wolf. I spent my days daydreaming about stumbling across a magical door that would hurl me into another world, one filled with wonder and beauty. In that world I would be a queen. (I was only eight...ten...eleven, OK?) And then in--what was it?--2005, Andrew Adamson's "The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe" was released. My Narnia obsession skyrocketed. (<--Understatement.) I mean, how could it not? Aslan's sacrifice made me cry, and Skandar Keynes made me swoon--yes, I am that shallow. It really couldn't get better. Fast forward five years and I'm not sitting in a cinema chair, anticipating an epic movie while my sister squealed next to me. Instead, I'm sitting on a bed, in a spare room, not in Mississippi, but rather thousands of miles away in Romania. And instead of the buzz that you here before a movie begins, Imogen Heap is singing in my ears while I savor an hour alone (which is priceless on a mission trip). I had just sat through an overwhelming worship session with my team, and I needed to process all the emotions my heart was being bombarded with. I knew Jesus was asking something of me, and I had an idea of what it was, but the raw realization scared me. In fact, ROMANIA was scaring me. Unlike back home, no one knew me here, it was like first impressions every single day. God had taken me away from everything and everyone I knew, and when you are called to walk away from your day-to-day life, you discover that you no longer are in control.
So there I am, criss-cross applesauce on a spare bed in a tiny spare room, my Bible opened before me, my journal beside it, and my palms face up on my knees, trying to think. Like I said, I was listening to Imogen Heap, it was a song that she wrote which is on the Narnia soundtrack.

Can't close my eyes
They're wide awake
Every hair on my body
has got a thing for this place
Oh empty my heart
I've got to make room for this feeling
so much bigger than me

As I listened to these words that I had heard over a million times and had become more than familiar, I was surprised by the depth of them. How was it that they perfectly expressed the way I was feeling about Romania and God? Yeah, obviously Imogen Heap has a time machine in her possession, checked out my journal in June 2010, and then went back to whenever she wrote that song. That sneaky girl! Just kidding...but kinda really. Romania terrified me, but I was also taken by it. It was beautiful...wondrous, even...and everyday exposed me to more and more incredible things. It was all so much! I couldn't hold on to the things that were going on as they were thousands of miles away, I needed to live in the moment, where I was. It was just for a month, right?
Except. I became lost in Romania. I became lost in God's magic and crazy love. And when I left, I felt as much sorrow as if I was leaving an awesome kingdom in which I was a princess. Maybe it's because Romania was awesome, and there I learned that I was God's princess. I didn't understand why my Father could be so cold, how could He allow me to go somewhere like Romania, allow me to feel the things I did and see the things I did, how could he allow me to meet the seven beautiful people I did...and then just drop me back in my life?! I used to think it was fine, I got by like everyone else, whatever. But after I encountered my True Lover and all that He had to offer--which was so much better!--I wasn't fine anymore.
WHY, WHY, WHY? What was the point? There was no way I could hear God in Mississippi like I did in Romania. Why? Why let me see what I did, become broken like I became, and then just be expected to come back here? Why? Three months after being home, just about half an hour ago, I read that above paragraph, of what Aslan said to Lucy and Edmund. And I know God is saying the same to me. I saw what I saw, met who I met, encountered God the way I did, I felt what I felt there; so that now I can see, meet, encounter God, and feel the way that my Father wants me to HERE.

Now I understand.


  1. Betsie...this is amazing. Thank you for sharing your heart and your love of our Savior.


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  4. Hey, Betsie!

    I don't expect you to remember me... but my name is Kristen and I work for AIM with Don and Connie Rock. I'm a writer too, and when Amanda told me about your blog, I had to check it out. Thank you for sharing this. On top of being an incredible story, it is so beautifully written! You have a gift. Hopefully others have told you that too. I pray that no matter where God leads you in life, you'll be able to write for Him.

    Happy Weekend!

    (Sorry this is the third time I've commented... I blame the fact that it's Saturday morning and I'm still half asleep). :0)

  5. Betsie, what is your email address? You should email me.

  6. Mrs. Kristen! I think I do remember you, did you help in the Fido Bido exercise?
    Thank you so much for praying and reading this! All of you AIM staffers are just SO COOL. I never expected that you guys would get as personal and relational with all of us Ambassadors as you have. Thank YOU!
    And its' totally fine! I got so excited when I saw that this had been commented on five times!

    I will email you!