Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Time of Learning

A few days ago it hit me that back in the States, my summer would be ending and school fast approaching at the August 1 date. It is hard to believe that I have missed a summer of family beach trips, weekends and cookouts at Lake Martin, time with friends in Birmingham, and being a part of my friends and family's lives as they are rapidly changing. HOWEVER, as I look at the last 9 weeks of my life, I could not help but see all of the "gain" I have from having made the seemingly impractical and scary decision to temporarily uproot my life 3,000 miles away... to a country where I am less than capable in many ways. I do not speak the language and my efforts are constantly challenged; a place where practicality takes the place of comfort and convenience; and a place where I know so little, I always have to seek help and admit to being less than my usual "independent".

The Lord is teaching me so much about humility and being still. Life here is slower, quieter. The months of Spring were spent trying to fill every waking moment with work, ministry, and investment into old and new relationships and I see that time as having been beneficial in so many ways. The Lord brought friends, a job, and a church into my life that encouraged and walked with me this year but I used those blessings to fill my time and schedule so much that I did not have to face the broken ME that can be found in quiet time, alone. I have not lived in a small town since high school and the isolation of language and lack of transportation and technology can be so frustrating. But I am finding myself seeking "alone time" within this present isolation, which I did not think possible for me and my over-analytical mind.

I love the mornings that I am up before my roommate and am able to read and either sit in silence or listen to worship music while drinking my coffee. I love waking up an hour earlier on Sunday mornings even though I have to be at the church an hour and a half early- just to prepare for the day. Running used to be a time of stress relief and necessity amidst an exhausting and crammed day; Now I seek the time in the draining sun or warm evenings just to pray or worship to the only CD my iPhone will download, Shane and Shane- Bring Your Nothing. (Quite appropriate I think?) Amazing that after 8 years of having roommates that I am still learning about living with people and meeting their needs above my own. To deny myself the justice and "rightness" I feel so entitled to at times is like denying myself coffee... which is death (haha insert joke here ___ ) but seriously makes my flesh turn inwardly, to serve them and seek their success no matter the circumstance, is becoming an act of submission to my brothers and sisters in Christ, and ultimately my Father. My Spirit is already seeing the fruit of this time. The first month here was pretty challenging and emotionally wrenching at times but the past 3 weeks have flown by, as soon as I began to surrender some of the "ME" that I mentioned earlier.

I have a special new friend in my roommate Mary Grace- who at 19 has challenged me to be more of a gentle and quiet spirit. She leaves me in 8 days and I am already going to miss her. Look forward to seeing some of this free spirit in upcoming pics! I appreciate her being patient in the past 2 and a half months for me to begin working some of these things out... Pray for this last week together that we may encourage and uplift one another even more in Christ, and through Him have at least some small remaining impact together on the relationships that have begun this summer.