It’s been a little while since I’ve written a blog post. We’ve been in our new home for a month now. The truth is I’ve tried and really wanted to write but I have had the hardest time making it happen. How can I possibly describe what my life is like right now and how I feel? I’ve had a hard time answering that question to my wife and even myself at times. What am I feeling? Most of the time I’ve felt caught in a tornado from the movie Twister and I’m pretty sure I keep seeing the same random cow fly by every minute but everything else is just a little hazy.
This last month happened fast. We landed, spent two days in Nepal, went to India for about two weeks, and then we’ve been back home for over a week. Through it all, I’ve struggled to think clearly at several points. I kept getting way too over occupied and too effected by what was right in front of me and usually I didn’t understand much of anything about what was right in front of me. This led to a lot of frustration and a lot of feelings of inadequacy. I was definitely that 2-year-old that people told me I would feel like. However, it was almost like I forgot people had told me that would happen. It wasn’t that I had poor expectations. I honestly just couldn’t slow things down enough to focus and see past the immediate and I was really bad at the immediate.
The best analogy I’ve been able to think of lately is that I’ve felt like I was a sort of Peter from Matthew 14. I say I felt like a “sort” of Peter because I am not near that cool. I know we heard Jesus calling us here. There is no doubt that happened. So, like Peter, I got out of the boat. Here’s where our stories differ just a little. Peter got out and walked on water with Jesus for a moment. Then, the storm around him distracted him and he took His eyes off Jesus and he started to sink. For me, it didn’t feel exactly that way.
I feel like I stepped out in faith to come here and the second I stepped out, I started to get focused on how I was falling short, how I didn’t measure up, how I didn’t understand things, couldn’t speak or do things, and how difficult certain aspects of our lives were here. The second I stepped out of the boat, I felt like I was sinking. I skipped the walking on water for a second and went straight to flailing for my life. I was told in this job you’re supposed to have a 3-6 month “honeymoon” type experience where everything is awesome and nothing can possibly bother you. Then things get hard. I skipped those 3-6 months too apparently.
I really can’t pinpoint anything in this last month that was too much or that was at the center of my struggle. Mostly, I just lost focus. Jesus looked at Peter and said, “Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt?” BECAUSE THERE WAS A STORM AND HE WAS WALKING ON WATER! (The all caps are to show how I’m actually yelling that right now.) Then lately I began to think on this analogy and realized:
What did this storm or the water have that could possibly compare to the sovereign God Who created it and stood right in front of Peter?
I began to ask myself: what did all these things that I was so focused on have to do with the loving, sovereign God that just called my name and was walking with me and in front of me?
My loss of faith in God caused me to trust in myself and that fell apart fast.
Lately, life is still difficult, but things are getting easier. We are learning. Are we learning as fast at I would probably like? Maybe we are; maybe we aren’t. I do know there are things that are getting easier. Mostly, I haven’t noticed the pace at which we are learning over the last few days because I’m just too busy trying to focus on Christ. I want the joy of the Lord to be my strength. If you pray for us, pray for focus. Pray that we remember our calling. Pray that we don’t get distracted by the “to do” lists that never seem to get accomplished or the simple tasks that a Nepali 7-year-old could do that we just struggle to manage.
We are here and we are His. This will always need to be our focus. Other things can come from this but nothing will come apart from it except for brokenness, anger, and giving up. Even as I sit here, I just wrote out a sentence and then deleted it but now I decided to share it with you. I wrote, “We have a long way to go before we are effective in our task and life here.” That’s not right. I’m obviously growing in my understanding of this but what is true is that faithfulness is what He desires. Faithfulness and trust are our task and life no matter where we are. I just have to keep my focus and my steps moving toward Him. This will look differently from time to time and I have no idea what it will look like a lot of the time but that’s ok. I can trust Him. I just have to remember that.
I’m realizing how in the states I lived so much of my life to eliminate uncertainty, need, unknown, unfamiliar, and unsafe. Then Jesus called me out of the boat and out of all of that and I kind of fell apart. I’m sure I’ll still do that from time to time; but hopefully this experience will help me at least do it less often and to snap out of it quicker. He is enough for me. This is what I’m learning. This is what I feel. This is what my life is like.