The day after arriving in “N-town,” South Asia, for the story training this past week, I wrote this to a wise lady whom I have never met. However, she was the one who initially connected me with the school where I completed my student teaching in South Asia in 2003. I still remember talking just one time on the phone with her, when I was in Delaware. It was a cold, snowy, winter day in January, 2003. Delaware was actually in the middle of a blizzard! I was on the top floor of my Grandfather’s house where I lived that that time. That conversation with her sparked so much excitement inside of me, I’ll never forget it!!
Anyway, this lady spent many years living in the same country in South Asia that I have lived in. She and I have kept in touch over the years, and she continues to encourage me. And she encouraged me once again when we exchanged emails this past week. First is part of my email to her. And after is her reply to me.
Well, I am in your “home” country over here once again. “Why does this place feel like home? Why do I fit, and yet not fit here? Ahh..… And what am I doing living in America? I should just move here, and live here.” – just a few thoughts after 48 hours or so back here. I don’t know what God is doing. I moved to Florida, but haven’t been there very much, and while I love every minute of being there, I know it is only for a season, and something else is on the way. And yet… what am I doing in Florida anyway? It was truly God who sent me there, I have no doubt. He didn’t indicate how long, but he did very clearly send me there. Why can’t I just sit still, just do what is in front of me, and stop trying to see beyond the present? When will I learn to rest in the place he has me in? True, maybe he doesn’t want me to sit still, maybe He IS moving me. HE is always moving, that’s for sure.
Anyway, I’m really not struggling with these thoughts, but constantly wondering what He is doing, and what He is doing with me, and how I can best follow Him. Being in airplanes, and different cultures seems to cause me to stop and think more critically about things, and just wonder what the purpose is behind what it is that I am doing.
Thanks for your prayers for me, as I continue to be here, and help train new storytellers, and as I process where God may be leading me.
-----Her response to me -----
Wow! Wish we could meet for tea!
Some thoughts off the very top of my head that might be helpful. You have become what I call a TCA (Third Culture Adult). God has uniquely gifted you in cross cultural living and ministry. He has also gifted you in teaching people to use God's word to communicate to a non-literate culture. I marvel at what I know of you and what I see of how He has used you.
When Jesus left heaven for us, I'm sure that wasn't comfortable! As His disciple, the Father has called you to live a transient (is life. That isn't easy, and it is challenging for a single woman . . . very few truly understand that the way that I do!
I heard in a talk once that there are three kinds of people . . . people who are building their own kingdom, people who are building God's kingdom, and people who are letting God build His kingdom through them . . . I used to fall into #2, but since hearing this, I am often stopped in my tracks because I want to be person #3!!!
Lately the Lord has been speaking to me about SURRENDER and TRUST. The last 8 years have been so very hard emotionally and even experientially. But, last week, He opened up something that makes sense to me. I have been unemployed for a year now, and for now I am happily here. This came after the possibility of going back to South Asia for 6 months was put on the table.
Try to live in the NOW and in the TENSION of what He has called you for right now. It isn't the voice of the shepherd that is speaking the confusion to you. So, tell the enemy to go, and cover yourself with His sacrifice and love.
This is not a lecture, and I hope it doesn't sound like one. What He is asking you to do is hard, but Father does know best, and He is totally trustworthy. Step by step . . . Ps. 18 comes to mind as one of my favorites, and Ps. 143:8 has meant a great deal to me in a recent big decision.
I'm here if it helps. I do look forward to meeting you face to face one day! Even in the tension, from the outside I can see Him doing great things in and through you! Thanks for being honest and for sharing! And, enjoy the landscape there . . . I guess you got in okay! Also great news!!! Enjoy it, even in the rain. . . not my favorite time of year!
Thank you Jesus for the tension of the ‘now.’ It is a good place to be. Thank you for the fact that you are in control. The fact that you do know what is ahead. The fact that you know where you are taking me, you are already there, and you want me to get there more than I want to get there, and I can trust you to lead me there. It may not be clearest path, but it will be the best one for me. How awesome is that!? You have cut back the weeds and brambles just enough for my feet to find the dirt path beneath, just one step at a time. Hmm... I feel another blog entry coming on. For now, Lord. Thank you. And, I happily trust you.