I must once again apologize for my lack of blogging.... life is somehow super busy, crazy, and while there is plenty to talk about, my time does not run with quite the same abundance. I guess cause there is plenty to talk about. (does that make sense?)
Anyways, I have thought about how I could describe the last couple of months often. I have even began writing this post on multiple occassions, but everytime I have ran up dry unable to find the adequate words to truly portray what it is I want to say. However, I have decided that tonight I will give it my best shot.
We recently celebrated or I guess simply acknowledged our 6 month anniversary of living here. That is something to be celebrated because living here is hard. It's not the kind of hard I have ever experienced. It is bone weary, exhausting, kind of hard.. rocking me to the core of who I am or who I thought I was. It is His voice and His call that keeps us here and gives us the joy and strength to face each day. I do not say this to complain or to make us seem miserable because we are not. We are joyful and we are learning to accept the trials knowing that with perserverance we will one day be made complete, lacking in nothing. We definitely have good days and have been blessed tremendously by the community He has provided for us. So, once again, this is not a post to complain. What I will share is not something that I really like to share, but at the same time, I want to because today I stand in victory and he deserves the glory.
Over the past several months, we have battled all kinds of trials, attacks from the enemy.We have not only dealt with cultural changes, separation from family and friends and everything else that goes with that, but we have also dealt with the loss of loved ones, and probably the biggest struggle has been my fight with anxiety. It began when a doctor told me something was wrong with my heart and that I could suddenly die. This began to brew in my mind and my mind began to fill with what ifs and I hope this or that doesn't happen. It has been an ugly monster hiding in my mind for months. I have lived my life in fear instead of trust. Fear of things that are completely out of my control, so therefore, I am afraid of them because that is something I can control even when I feel out of control (does that make sense?) It says that the enemy is like a prowling lion looking to devour and he has definitely been prowling around us. It took a long time for us to recognize that though.. thinking I just had health issues (difficulty breathing, rapid heart rate, etc.) all signs of anxiety. He opened our eyes to the truth one night as I was spending time with Him, and after that things began to slowly change because we were no longer blind. We knew the cause of this and we now knew how to fight it. So, we began to fight it, and like in any war, we would lose some and win some, all the while believing that He was at work and that He would heal me.
By this point, we were very much anticipating our trip to Thailand. We knew it would be some much needed rest and revival. We also went believing that we would return different people. So, we had precious time seeking him, talking with him, and learning more about him. He revealed to me that the anxiety I was suffering from had become an idol to me, not necessarily because I made it that way, but because it was what consumed me. It consumed my mind. I was beginning to make decisions out of fear. I know now that this is a sin because He is not of fear. He is love (the absence of fear). He showed me these things and I realized what a mess I was making of things. I didn't ask for this anxiety to overtake me and I sure begged for it to be taken away, but He had to rid me of myself so that I could be made usable. I needed to be emptied out and able to start fresh with a clean slate. The morning after He revealed this all to me, He spoke directly to my heart through his word, "Daughter, your faith has healed, go in peace and be freed from your suffering." I was so excited because he had heard my cry and He answered... in his timing and in his way.
Almost immediately my focus began to shift from all the troubles to all of the wonderful things He has done. Where we were in Thailand was surrounded by mountains and every morning I would look at those mountains and think about Him moving mountains. Because the faith I had that healed me is the faith that he will use to move mountains here. Think about mountains with me for a minute. Mountains are huge, solid, really pretty immovable, but he moves them all the time. He is able. Three little words that have so much meaning. He is able.
We did return back to the place we now call home as different people. Renewed and full of joy because He has done great things and is continuing to do great things. And while living life here is still not easy, we can rejoice because we know that He answers the cries of his children, he is at work among us, and his love for us cannot be ignored. My fear has turned to trust, believing that He cares for me and He will move mountains in our day; believing that we will see his goodness in the land of the living as long as we wait for him.