“India or bust.” These words were written by my older sister Katie in her prayer journal to God while she was preparing to become a missionary to India. God had placed the people of India on her heart from a very young age, especially the little girls of India. Though Katie endured some difficult times, God continued whispering to her heart that she was called to the people of India.
I remember Katie talking about India very frequently during our conversations. I suppose that’s because her passion for the Indian people was so strong that it poured out beautifully from her heart in her everyday life. I loved that God had spoken to her so clearly about what His plan was for her life–and I loved seeing her so excited for that plan. Her enthusiasm for the country inspired me, and I often liked to picture myself one day visiting her in India as she dedicated her life to serving the Indian people.
When she died suddenly in a car accident as a 19-year-old in March of 2006, I not only grieved for her, but I grieved over the fact that her dream to go to India went “unfinished.” As the years have passed by, I feel like I have gained a greater perspective on her life. Though she never touched her feet to the Indian earth, it amazes me to think about the many prayers she prayed for the people of India. Even though Katie is with Jesus now, I believe the prayers she prayed here on earth for the Indian people are still powerful and effective today.
Now, as a 19-year-old, I have the opportunity to enter this beautiful land where my sister wanted to invest her life. At the end of this month, I will be boarding a plane with a few other students from my college to India. It’s still so surreal. With each passing day, I feel like it’s becoming a little more real. With my VISA stamped and my funds almost raised, I can’t help but be aware of God’s hand in this trip.
Even though I won’t be visiting my sister on the mission field as I had always dreamed I would, I believe I will feel such a closeness to her while there. I feel like a part of her mission is going with me as well. I can only imagine at this point how incredible it will be to look into the eyes of the people Katie wanted to spend her life with–knowing that her prayers were for these beautiful people. I’d like to think that in some way, I am taking her there with me.
It’s amazing how God is in the details. While in India, I will be able to celebrate Katie’s birthday on March 7th. I’ll probably try to eat some ice cream on that day if possible!
As I ponder packing and prepare her special Indian blouse and colorful skirt to go inside my luggage to wear on the trip, I note how faithful God has been throughout my grief journey. I know without a doubt that He is good and that He really does always create beauty from the ashes.
India or bust.