Moving is a curse. It is one of my least favorite activities/experiences in the world, and I told more than one person yesterday that I thought moving was definitely one of those thrown-in consequences from the fall. Think about it. Adam and Eve sin. They have to move out of the Garden of Eden. Pain of childbirth…and moving. And now, we have to move. Especially when you currently have no place to live, you have to move–all the time. Thank goodness I don’t have to worry about that other thing yet.
But yesterday, as I stood there in my disaster of a half-packed room, I felt so tiny and inconsequential in the midst of all the mess. Yay metaphors. It was no coincidence that I’d officially move away from LA, the place that I’ve called home for the past four years, on the same day as my support deadline. God really likes to work in terms of the big picture. We’re not just going to teach you surrender in the area of finances, Pat, but in every. single. area. of. your. life. Nothing is permanent. Nothing is reliable. Nothing is yours. Except Me.
Just as my knees were giving way and I was about to throw my hands up in defeat, I found a letter I had written to myself (cliched and cheesy, I know) two years ago… right after I got back from my summer missions trip to Disney World. Which is, arguably, the trip that began everything and changed how I viewed my life and God’s place in it.
August 4, 2010
Here you are, sitting at the Orlando International Airport, about to leave what has been a life-changing summer. Right now, you’re sad. You’re exhausted. You’re relieved. You’re nervous and scared because you’re about to spend a week and a half with your sister. I hope that went well and you didn’t slip into old patterns. I hope you were able to show them the all-encompassing love of God that you’ve experienced this summer.
Most of all, you’re excited about serving God every day back at school. You’ve learned so much about not valuing with the world values, but only caring about what God thinks. Right now, you’ve got some crazy dream about being a missionary-writer. That probably won’t go over very well with your mother, but we’re praying about it.
I hope that, even after a year, you’re still focused and have your eyes on God alone. I hope that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you’ve become more patient, wiser, less selfish, less self-aware, more honorable, and more loving. Oh, how you’ll really have to die to yourself to do that.
This is just a reminder that God loves you, even if you can’t always feel it. And in those moments when God feels the farthest, know that those are the moments when God is working the most. Stay strong in the Lord. Never give up hope. Fight for each and every person you meet. Love without reservations. And know that He’ll always be right there.
For those of you who are wondering, I’m currently at 60.37%. How far He’s brought me already, and how much He’s blessed me through my brothers and sisters! I just submitted my application for an extension, although the maximum extension I can get is 2 weeks, and I’m supposed to report to my assignment on August 13th.
I’m praying that, if it is God’s will that I serve on these campuses in the fall, I would get the extension. And if it’s not… that I won’t. I find out either today or tomorrow. Chances are likely that if I don’t get this extension or don’t raise full support in time, I may be headed back to Thailand… which would be a very different adventure indeed.
God is our refuge and our strength
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth quake
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.