Experts told me that around month 4 of living overseas there’s a wall that people often hit. A place where you realize, this is real… you’re not going “home.” This is it. This is your life. Well, a week from now marks month 4 for me and for a couple of weeks now, I’ve been feeling that wall and have painfully run into a few times. Of course, I knew all along what I was signing up for… but there’s a big difference in knowing it and being in it, feeling all the things that come with it… ACTUALLY living half a world away from everyone you’ve loved and shared your life with for the last 27 years.
I have amazing friends and family (that would be YOU) who are in this with me in a very real way. I’m very blessed and I recognize that. Still though, while you’re in it with me and remain a part of my life through emailing, chatting, skyping, and talking on the phone with me… not a single one of you has given me a hug at the end of a hard day and there are times that I feel desperate for that… and so very alone.
I’m reading a great book (Radical by David Platt) that’s filled with reminders of what THIS (LIFE) is all about. Here are a few quotes:
“We do have to love him in a way that makes our closest relationships in this world look like hate. And it is entirely possible that he will tell us to sell everything we have and give it to the poor.” (Platt, 13)
“Wake up and realize there are real battles to be fought, so different from the superficial, meaningless ‘battles’ you focus on. Wake up to the countless multitudes who are currently destined for a Christless eternity.” (15)
“… in the end you are not really giving away anything at all. Instead you are gaining. Yes, you are abandoning everything you have, but you are also gaining more than you could have in any other way. So with joy – joy! – you sell it all, you abandon it all. Why? Because you have found something worth losing everything for.” (18)
Love him in a way that makes our closest relationships look like hate. Yeah. Jesus said if we want to be His disciples, we have to do that (Luke 14:26). So, I’m here because I love Him and not that I have fully understood it yet, but learning more and more what loving Him really means… I decided it was worth it to leave behind the life I always THOUGHT I would have in order to serve Him and obey Him. He IS worth losing everything for and I am gaining MUCH.
So, while I sit here… facing trials of many kinds… I recognize that it’s worth it all. Entirely. Even when it doesn’t FEEL like it is.
I do have to admit though, that my emotions do not always match this and that sometimes I cling to people, who are half a world away, more than I cling to Him… and that’s a shame. I’m asking Him to help me with that, with letting go and losing control.
Stay tuned for more conversations (between me and my computer screen) about this and other related issues. There’s a lot to say and a lot to learn.