I have been scared to go back home because I am afraid that no one will understand my journey and process. And to be quite frank…..I am afraid I won’t either.
To start this off, I want to dispel two main questions I know will be awaiting me upon my return to the U.S.
I can’t in any sort of form or way even begin to give you a remotely, well-formed answer in the moment. So I am writing it out now. Here it goes…..
This year I have struggled and rejoiced.
Cried and laughed.
Fallen but got back up.
Never wanted to leave a place but left quickly.
Realized and forgot.
Danced and sang till my voice went out.
Made friends and family but left people behind.
Ate crazy foods and vomited.
I have screamed and rested.
Slept on train/airport/bus floors and in comfy beds.
Jumped and waited.
Lost and gained.
Fought with people and hugged them.
Fallen in love and discovered hate.
Walked through healing and still need more.
I can’t take you on a rewind journey of my year. But what I can do is give you a tiny glimpse into what this year has meant to me. What these countries mean to me. What these people mean to me.
INDONESIA- You are truly magical for so many reasons! I will always remember your green, lush presence and incredible hospitality. NOT TO MENTION, the rainy soccer games, lovely people, good food, and Sky Garden.
THAILAND- You will always have a place in my heart and I was so thankful I got to return to “The Land of Smiles” and this place of wonder.
BURMA- God is moving in you!! I fell in love with your people and am longing to return one day to see my dear friends.
INDIA- It’s a love hate relationship but you are everything rich, chaotic, vibrant, loud, and beautiful. Two months with you was enough and more than I could have asked for.
NEPAL- I didn’t get to spend much time with you but I will always remember your sweet people, stunning mountains, and of course….our paragliding adventure.
CHINA- The most beautiful country I have ever seen! You are truly something out of a painting! It’s no wonder so many people pilgrimage through your lands. Tibetan people, mountains, snow, sunflower fields, trails, etc. You rank high on the charts for me.
KAZAKHSTAN- Thanks for Che Chill Grill and great camping spots! You are so big! (The 40 hour train ride made me realize that.) Also thanks for launching us into our trip across the Caspian Sea!
KYRGYZSTAN- You made me march to a beat of a different drum and with many kids at that. THANKS!
GEORGIA- You are so pretty and thanks for the random Mexican restaurant. I am praying for faithful laborers in your nation!
AZERBAIJAN- “Baku is for lovers.” What a city and nation you are! GOD ROCK THIS PLACE!
GREECE- Three months with you was not enough! So much to say and so little space. Thank you for: your culture, people, islands, rich history, refugees you hold, memories, and a place I called home.
TURKEY- I will return to you again but thank God for gripping my heart for you. It’s for a reason.
BELGIUM- You are stunning! I only got to see a glimpse of you. But the beauty of your nation is indescribable!
MOROCCO- I know, I just KNOW that God is so in love with His Arab Bride! You are a country filled with a hunger to seek and find! And find you shall!
This year was life changing. This year God changed a lot in me. These people have impacted me. These lands have gripped me. I won’t be the same. How could I ever be?
Recently I was talking to my brother who is on his own journey with the Lord. He has been reading the book of Job and I asked him what he felt he was getting from it.
“We don’t and won’t understand everything, but we can trust God who is in control and loves us so much!”
I know you have heard me say this before and I will say it again.
I don’t know what’s next.
And that’s okay because I am sitting in my Dad’s lap.
Something else I do know: God has always been faithful. AND HE ALWAYS WILL BE!
Abraham- Trusted God when he was about to sacrifice his own son out of obedience to the Lord. Then God saved his son and provided a different sacrifice.
Moses- Led God’s people out of Egypt and even when he didn’t understand what God was doing. And the Lord always came through.
David- Had to trust the Lord to fight his battles with armies and with King Saul.
The disciples- Waited and trusted Jesus’ word that God was indeed sending the Holy Spirit to them…..and He did.
▪ You see. I’ve been afraid to come home.
▪Afraid of these questions.
▪Afraid that I don’t have an answer.
▪ Afraid that people won’t understand that I don’t have an answer.
But then, God’s sweet Spirit reminds me of who He is.
I still don’t know much….but this I do know.
• I am stronger but more broken.
• I care a lot more and I care a lot less.
• I don’t have time to waste but I will give my time wisely.
• People….man, people. Hard but beautiful and it’s the business I’ll be in for a lifetime.
• The nations are hungry for a true encounter with the Lord.
• GOD IS SO IN LOVE WITH HIS BRIDE!
• I AM SO IN LOVE WITH GOD!
Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”