Guest Post- In the Midst of the Storm

I’m so excited to share this guest post with you.  My dear friend, Marilyn Hodgin, is half way through a two year commitment to teach English in Taiwan.  She was back in the states recently and we shared lunch. But, OH! It was so much more than lunch! Marilyn shared this poem she wrote when a typhoon hit during her first assignment to Taiwan three years ago.  I asked her to let me share it with you…and guess what? She said yes! I hope that it blesses you as it blesses me….

My favorite line? “The birds are STILL singing!” (my emphasis)…enjoy!

In the Midst of the Storm
The typhoon came – it was expected.
With it came the winds and rain
Unparalleled in its force and magnitude
Leaving destruction in its wake.


Sitting in the safety of my room
Writing my thoughts and observations
As the storm raged on
Light fading quietly away


Was the storm in Galilee
Like this one?
What a contrast when Jesus said,
“Peace”, and the wind stopped.


Late afternoon – getting darker
Wind howling – rain continuing
Lying on the bed in the dimness
I hear birds singing.


Message arrives from a friend
“Ilan almost devasted.
Hope NanAo is fine.”
Yes, we are fine.


So, I wait, writing
“They that wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength.
They shall mount up with wings.”


With God’s strength,  He can give me wings
To fly above any storm
As an eagle, above, looking down on the world
With a different perspective.


How strong is the wind?
Sitting inside my room
With doors and windows closed
My ears pop due to the force.


The wind continues
Unabated in its strength
Only the light is fading away.
The birds are still singing.


Where are the birds
That they can be in a place
Where they are able to sing?
Now there are more voices.


Do they sense the storm is ending?
Are they just singing
In the midst of the storm
In spite of it?


Leaves and twigs have found their way
Onto my patio – cluttering it up.
What will I do with the clutter
From the storms in my life?


If I could stop the storm, would I?
What are the benefits of storms?
Do they create new strength in the trees
As they are stretched from side to side?


I know that the One who created this earth
And set it in motion
Has me in His righteous right hand
He makes all things new.


It’s almost too dark to write
At least to see what I’m writing
The birds are still singing
Do I sing in the midst of my storms?


Thoughts from my journal after the typhoon hit
Taiwan on October 6, 2007
Marilyn Hodgin, March 24, 2009

Guest Post- The Taxi Ride

I am so excited to share this with you! My dear friend and mentor, Marilyn, who is currently serving as a teacher in Taiwan, sent this to me yesterday. It was a straight up God-smooch to me this week as I navigate through the first week of the new year with this ministry and with God.  I’m letting go today and leaving God in charge of the taxi ride….

Will you embrace the journey with us?

Bridge and Boats lit up on The Love River- Photo by Marilyn Hodgin

Our goal was to go for a boat ride
Floating down the Love River
Ending the evening at a famous restaurant
Only a ten minute walk from the boat.

A long taxi ride ended up on the side of the road.
This is it?  No boats anywhere.
Where are we?  Who is in charge here?
Does anyone speak English?

A quick call to the person who came up with the plan
Yes, we were at the famous restaurant.
Oh, the food is great, and cheap??
But – the lady keeps trying to tell us something.

Phone relay – the order is finally placed.
Seafood dishes brought to us.
Our dinner was full of unique dishes –
Eating from the realm of the unknown.

Energetic youth bravely assist us
Explaining to the taxi driver
That our next goal is to ride a boat
Down the Love River, or so we thought.

The short taxi ride ended at a dock –
Yes, the boat would be there soon
Enough time to take pictures
As we wait for our next adventure.

Double-decker boat – beautiful view
Enjoying the lights on the shore
Anticipating lights from the bridges –
But, where are the bridges?

The boat ride was peaceful –
Quietly floating across the water.
Looking at the map explained no bridges –
We were not on the Love River.

The next taxi delivered us to the dock
Where we saw a very long line –
Couples waiting to ride down the Love River –
Maybe our boat ride was enough.

Sunday morning – our goal was church in English.
The hotel clerks had graciously found one.
Once again, getting into the taxi
We were on our way to church.

The ride took us through the city –
Winding through an industrial area –
Seemingly far away from the city.
At last, we are dropped off at a church.

The pastor was American, his wife Taiwanese.
The church’s congregation mostly Philipinos.
That morning special guests were leading the service –
Young people singing and acting about God’s love.

Where were we?  I didn’t know.
We had placed our ‘order’ of where we wanted to go,
But the outcome was a complete surprise –
And totally out of our control.

Many times I have placed ‘my order’ –
This is where I want to go.
This is what I want to do.
And the door to the taxi closes behind us.

But when the ride ends –
We are dropped off somewhere –
Where?  Who is in charge here?
Does anyone speak my language?

This was not what I asked for.
I had another plan –
How did the message get so misunderstood?
Maybe I should have done it myself.

God, You said You have a plan for me –
A plan that includes hope
You promised to direct my steps –
You said You would take me to the right place.

So, does trusting You mean
Leaving my journey up to You?
What if You take me somewhere I don’t know?
What will I do if no one understands me?

You promised to give us life –
And an abundant one, at that!
More than we could ever ask or think!
And You are worthy of our trust.

So, I’m calling for a taxi!
I can’t wait to see where we are going next –
You and I on a ride together.
Thank You for Your plan.

January 7, 2011  Marilyn Hodgin
Reflections on a weekend trip to Kaohsiung

Are willing to leave the journey up to God and go along for the ride?