Thursday, April 3, 2014

Mixed feelings - Who am I again?

I'm going to be honest.  I am having mixed feelings about going to South Asia this summer.  I'm not having mixed feelings about whether or not I should go.  I do have a desire to go and it's my job, and I am going - there's no question about that.  It's just that I am having greater worry, fear, and stress about going than I have ever had about any trip overseas in the past.

Every other day or so, I have the thought, "This trip is going to be hard."  Or, "I am going to have to take a bucket bath, or maybe no bath at all for period of time," or "My hair is going to fall out like it always does overseas," or "There will be food I don't like," or "I will have to sleep on a board."

The last thought then continues, "Sleeping on a board will cause my back to hurt incessantly, then my attitude will be filtered through back pain, then others will probably get frustrated with me because my patience is reduced because my mind can't get off the pain in my back."

Ten years ago, I dreamed of living through the adventurous hardships of life overseas.  I longed to struggle and "suffer" through minor and major challenges to live among a people group who had never heard God's Word in their own heart language before.

As each year passes, I find myself growing less and less attracted to those hard things- whether it's minor like having to eat food I don't really like, or a bit more challenging - like continual pain in my back that others can't see, but continually reminds me that this earth is not my home.

I find myself being energized by the enthusiasm of the Discovery team members who are preparing even now for the trip to South Asia.  Interacting with them through pre-trip orientation is exhilarating!  I am reminded of myself 10 years ago when nothing could stop me from finding a way to live overseas and serve God.

It is confusing, frustrating, and disappointing, then to find myself now dreading certain parts of my upcoming trip.

Who is this person who is hesitant about traveling overseas?  Who is this person who is actually learning to enjoy the comforts of a hot shower and non-starch, pliable sheets?  Who is this person who actually does enjoy a heater in the winter and A/C in the summer and being understood the first time she says something?

This person who strained for so long to deny any and all material or earthly blessings in the past for fear she was becoming too comfortable here on earth.

It is me.  It is new. It is different.  It is weird. I don't know how I feel about it yet.

Yet, nearly a year and a half ago I wrote about hating what I used to love, so I guess these feelings really aren't that new.

But I know God has lessons for me in and through it all.  I'm pretty sure it's part of Him helping me find balance to the extremes of life and my black and white personality - which for so long had convinced me that unless I was speaking a foreign language and suffering in some way, I probably wasn't really living for the Lord as I should be.

I am very slowly learning that that is not a conviction from the Lord, but a lie from the Enemy.  God loves to bless me.  He also calls me to be generous and give up and give away, in a variety of ways, for His sake.

I am thankful for the energy of the 5 Discovery participants who, with every pre-trip orientation homework assignment I read through, are taking me back to re-live my own journey of living overseas and the ways God worked in and through me from then until now.


Mark Brown said...

Hey Elizabeth, could it be that God may be calling you to a new season in your life? Now married, with new adventures there, maybe there is something else for you to complete?

Jen Do said...

Great thoughts Liz. We changes, but God is the same. He is working in you and through you for his glory!!! Embrace the change, and the changing feelings about South Asia too!!!

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