I grew up having some Independance Day traditions; pool parties, American flag pies, BBQ, fireworks, neighborhood festivals. I can’t seem to remember what last year held as last summer was a bit of a rollercoaster. Not sure if I was living in Chicago at that point, the suburbs, Wisconsin, or somewhere else. Yeah, a bit crazy. But regardless of what the day filled, all those around me were decked out in a familiar trio of colors, fireworks twinkled in the night sky, grills were fired up, and flags flew in the humid summer air.
Today is my first 4th not stateside. I have a feeling it will be the first of many. Not that the holiday in itself holds a ton of tradition, it holds community and family and friends who are family. Today as Sarah baked a pie and John brought us some cups of freshly Chemex-ed coffee, we chatted with Amber about the bittersweetness of being a foreigner and the growing pains of building a new ministry. The good stuff always happens amidst the hard stuff. In the discomfort, the growing pains, and the pulling of teeth, God somehow makes it the waiting room of some kind of wonderful glory and sanctification. We reminisced about the ease of baking in an American kitchen and bulk food at Costco with giant parking spots.
Today the Lord has been teaching me what it means to be content in the discomfort. My “let’s make a 5-year-plan” mind takes every moment of everyday and puts it in a looking glass. It may sound like a wonderful process, but it’s truly exhausting. But, still He tells me, just take it in. Don’t overthink it. Just allow these two months to be what they are and soak it up. Stop trying to figure out every little thing. Just be faithful, walk and serve. I am so incredibly thankful for these two months. These two months to not only serve and learn and share the life giving words of the gospel but to grow and change. I may not know what it all looks like, how it all fits in to a huge puzzle, but I know that it is being used.
So as I miss the parades and hamburgers and sparklers, know that the Lord uses each and every little thing. Not to make us frantic but to make us rely on Him and walk in faith.