This semester was the hardest. It fled by like a car speeding down the highway. It vanished like warm breath in cold, winter air. I came back to the states with time to spare and get reaquainted with “normal” life. Oh yeah, I’m still an undergrad college student. Moved in to an apartment, organized my books, and got to know Chicago again.
Before I knew it, it was December and August was long gone. I could have sworn it was just yesterday I was standing in a circle with teenagers yelling about a volleyball in some language I had no idea what they were saying. But here I am, with another 18 credits completed sitting in this cabin cooped up in the middle of nowhere. But some things happened between August and December; good and bad, ugly and ravishingly beautiful, trying and building up.
From coming off of a summer where I poured out and saw the Lord use me and felt poured into and loved more than I’d ever known to a season of pouring out constantly and feeling utterly burnt out. When life somehow creeps up on me and abiding in Christ is a scary and weighty task, I’m left tired. When I forget that God is in control and just feel the certainty of my weakness.
This semester I realized the beauty of being alone and spending time to care for myself. Though I didn’t really do a good job caring for myself, I grew in setting up boundaries and listening to my body and myself. I felt the weight of not having someone pour into me and pursue me after coming from such a season filled with that.
As I’ve finished up this short chapter, I’ve reflected a bit. The future is uncertain and most around me are feeling that. But over the last few days I’ve recognized how much I desire to be comfortable, somewhere I’m known, have a place to call “my place”, home, rest. And I realized I don’t have that. And I’m not sure I ever will; at least not for some time. As I’ve been praying through God’s direction for the coming years, I’ve been met with a lot of questions or misunderstanding. “Why would you want to move to a foreign country? Why do you want to be a missionary? That sounds so uncomfortable.”
And as I’ve tried to explain I’ve realized it’s true. It is so uncomfortable. And I’m uncomfortable. It’s not comfortable living somewhere you feel unknown, unable to understand the woman at the grocery store, your old appliances don’t even plug into the wall…there’s so much and it’s all so foreign. But truly, I feel that now. Even here. And as I’ve realized over the last few years, that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
Though it isn’t easy. The beauty and majesty we will encounter when we move our lives to foreign places and unfamiliar faces, all for the glory and pursuit of knowing Jesus and making Him known, nothing compares. I may not have a place that feels like home. But this world is not my home. He is my purpose and my place. It may not make much sense, but nothing in this world compares to making Him known. And He is worth the sleepless nights, the long drawn out prayers, the question met with answers or no answer, the support-raising process, the discomfort. He’s worth it all.