Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Different Vantage Point

There a lot of things I should be doing right now, but it is nice to take a moment and soak up listening to my little world. Little t is puttering around the house ‘helping’ A.P.  Baby Zar is snoring in her room for her nap. The wind howls outside (there were snowflakes in the air this morning!) The clock on the wall is ticking. 

Yesterday I was exhausted and ready to make extreme decisions. I was more than half tempted to open the back of the truck carrying all of our belongings out of M-ville and let people take whatever they wanted…and then leave the country. A week of wrestling life alone as I sat consumed with the potential challenges of the unknown future left me exhausted and ready to throw in the towel.  In an emotional conference call with our boss last night, I spilled my emotions (I am very good at that) and raised alarm on all of our parts. 

Being the wise man that he is, A.P. encouraged me to take a step back, look at things from a different vantage point, and relax before making more extreme statements and decisions (giving away all of our things, writing off options for the future, crying my eyes out when Baby Zar woke again for the billionth time last night).  He listented to my frustration and emotion and didn’t belittle me for it, but also helped me to take a breath.

It is true. The last week was not an easy one for me. I am very much a ‘see the tree instead of the forest’ person anyway. So the problems of life consume me easily in the moment and I lose sight of the big picture. I also tend to take things to the extreme (my parents and husband are laughing at this right now). For example…I kicked myself all week because it quickly became obvious that if I couldn’t handle my current situation I would never make a good refugee. And obviously that makes me a terrible and weak person.  I can’t help you follow the logic of this thinking…but suffice it to say it wasn’t a helpful realization in the midst of my crazy week. A.P. calmly (probably while stifling a laugh at my ridiculousness) helped me see that it wasn’t the most important or positive thing for me to focus on while trying to take care of my two kids in the challenging circumstances.  He basically told me (in a loving way) to be realistic, stop beating myself up, and choose a different vantage point from which to see my situation.

So, I sit here this morning to rest.  I have a list of 100 things that need done, but I am reminded that they don’t matter right now.  I have lost sight once again of the crucial need I have to start my day and end my day and saturate my day with Am I the only one who has to learn this lesson over and over…and over? Jesu.s Calling this morning reminded me about letting my day be saturated with Him.  I haven’t been doing that.  There are diapers to change and kids to feed and Facebook to look at and laundry to do and….  And it bogs me down when it becomes my focus. 

So, that is my hearts desire on this blustery day (that is making my laundry outside sopping wet…but I am not supposed to be thinking about that…).  I am working to gain a different vantage point. I am desperately wanting to and needing to come back to the feet and tackle the challenges of the day and the future from that position.  
Maybe after I become better at that,  I can work on my ability to be a refugee…

Monday, December 10, 2012


3 1/2 years ago…
I still remember the morning clear as day. Sitting on a stool in my friend E’s kitchen overlooking the ocean. The view was breathtaking, but I found myself enchanted by something else.  E’s testimony about their passion and conviction and calling to work in that specific place moved me to tears. Her whole being was infused with peace as she shared the tangible ways that God had made His desires clear for them. She shared that on the really hard days (and believe me, they have had their share of really hard days…) that calling and passion is what gets them through.

I have to be honest and say that I was a little jealous. We had just limped out of a particularly challenging season of life and we weren’t exactly sure whether the doors behind us were closing or remaining open. We were tired, discouraged, feeling wounded and indifferent to all that this land had to offer us.

And there was J and E. They are not super peple or perfect, but they have a very clear calling to be where they are and doing what they do. They love where they are and what they do. I wanted that.

Going home that became the cry of my heart - that before God opened the next door He would give us a very direct call and sense of purpose for the place He was leading us to and the work there. 

It took a while. A lot of pra.ying and asking and wrestling and seeking later, we knew without a doubt that God was calling us to M-ville.  We went and it was good. It wasn’t always easy. There were painfully hard days and infuriating days. There were days that were very dark and the Enemy was obviously at work around us. But in all of that, we had peace.  It was a sweet sweet time in our lives where we enjoyed basking in God’s peace and walking in that, even though chaos was King outside the walls of our house. We were fulfilled in our work, we were growing as a family, we were growing in our relationships with friends and neighbors, spiritually we were maturing. Like our friends J and E, it came from knowing we were in the center of God's will.

Fast forward to now…
A.P. is in M-ville right now packing up our things and preparing to move them out in a few days. It will no longer be our home. Security has declined and though we deeply desire to return, leaders in our org have decided that it is not wise for us to do so.

I kind of feel like a deflated balloon. We came back ready to jump into life and work and relationship in that place. We returned with that same passion and conviction, that same calling to be a speck of light in that dark place. Yet here we sit; three hours away in a fascinating city with no local friendships and no idea what is next.

I kind of want to shake my fist in the air at God. Childish yes, but that is what I want to do.  I am questioning His reasoning, His ways. I find myself reminding Him 100 times a day about how much we loved it there, how we wanted to go back (you couldn’t drag most people there, so wanting is a big step in the right direction!) I find myself reminding Him that spiritually it is still very dark, that work-wise A.P. had a lot planned to do.  I find myself incredulous that He would take us out of that hard spot when so few will even consider it. 

But most of all, I am sad.  Tonight, I am sad for the loss of passion and calling that we had for that place.  We look at options before us, and some of them could work, but none of them speak to us right now like M-ville did (there is a far off possibility, but it is far off enough that I find it hard to think seriously about it yet).  When we visited M-ville before even moving there, I knew that we would work there someday and it moved me deeply.  The what-could-be’s that are before us right now don’t stir me in the same way. 

So, I feel like it is a quiet time. Waiting again at the feet of the Father and asking Him to fill me with His calling and passion for where He wants us next.  Quite honestly, I just want to be excited about what comes next, but I know it is a lot more than that.  The deep soul stirring is not there yet and I feel lost without it.  I beg and plead with the Giver of Life that He will stir up His passion in His time.