I’ve tried to come back to this blog several times in the past seven weeks since we’ve been back in America, but life and the words haven’t aligned, so I haven’t written.
I’m honestly not even sure where I left off in our “Serbia updates,” but it’s 5:30am on a Tuesday right now, and I’ve already downed two Tums because my brain and body are trying to cope the best they know how – bless their little hearts.
So, I figured, what better time to write?
I started in my journal, and I don’t have a lot of time before my very full day actually begins, so this is a one-pass, very-little-editing brain dump. As always, I appreciate your grace.
I’ve said it to a couple of people, but I feel like we’ve been in a season of saying “Yes” to God.
Being “on the mission field” (feels weird to write that), even short-term, does that to a person. It fine-tunes us to God’s point of view, opens our hearts to hearing from the Holy Spirit in new ways, and gives us grace to follow His prompting. We find ourselves saying “Yes” to situations we would ordinarily never find ourselves in.
“Hey Kurt and Emily, will you share about Lifegate’s vision for worship? Lead a prayer and worship night? Disciple this girl? Have dinner at this non-english-speaking person’s house? Drive here? Get in the car with random guy you just met to drive six hours to another city? Talk with this monk for a few hours? Pray in this meeting? Drink from this cup?”
Yes, Lord, of course.
Pastor Mike was right. Every day held kairos moments, because I was looking for them. I was heart-wide-open ready to receive them.
And coming back here was more of the same…
Step into a teaching position? Sure. Learn everything from scratch – tech suites and smart boards and lesson planning and curriculum building and classroom management and having bosses and a team and a cohort and a coach and getting up early every morning for the foreseeable future?
Yeah, God, ok. Why not?
Oh also you’re going to have a 21-year-old woman move in with you.
Yes, Lord, no problem.
But America… My beautiful native country that I love so dearly, but for me brings out the “consumerist, individualist, wear-fatigue-like-a-badge-of-honor, my front porch isn’t decorated therefore I’m a failure, we need a third vehicle to survive, family scattered to the four winds” in me.
Oh also therapy. Being back in Omaha again rips that last layer of self-protection away from my heart and God is saying, “say Yes to this too,” but everything in me wants to pull back and shut down and say NOT THIS. Anything but this.
Preserve, conserve, withdraw.
And in some ways, I have done that – withdrawn and conserved and pulled back my heart. Part of that looks like adjustment and healthy boundaries and part of that looks like self-preservation.
And then Shireen asks if I’ll teach at Lifegate Women, three weeks in a row for a total of 90 minutes, on the life of Peter and I, in a flash of inspiration from the Holy Spirit, or in a moment of sheer insanity, say “Yes.”
Maybe I said “yes” because that’s the training mode we’ve found ourselves in and it’s starting to become a habit? Or maybe I needed that nudge back toward the “It’s not all about you” that I get so very clearly in the Balkans.
But still, I find myself wishing for a week that feels “normal,” comfortable, familiar.
I’m in my home in Bennington surrounded by all my same stuff but this season is so radically different from anything that has come before it that I can’t seem to locate the familiar except in the eyes of some anchor people in my life. Also Jesus.
And it occurs to me that maybe that’s the whole point.
That living right here on the edge of unfamiliarity, and fear of the unknown, and potential catastrophic failure on multiple levels, is an ok place to hang out – with God.
Maybe this is where you want me, Abba?
Can I say “Yes” to this too?