Sunday, July 31, 2011

Humanness in Transition

Is it too early and too much of a sleep deprived morning for this to make sense?  We will see… J
Today I leave to fly to Cambodia.  And it still seems unreal.  My bags are mostly packed, I have said some painful goodbyes, and have tried to tie up as many loose ends with the paper work side of things as possible.  With a 89th birthday party for Grandma and my cousin, and last minute packing and note writing, there is plenty to keep me busy for the few hours before I head to the airport.  Yet in all the motion, overall this feeling of overwhelming gut-ache seems so familiar to me.  Transition.  Grief.  And while I am in this world, I know that this will be a reality. 
This summer God has been revealing my humanness to me. Sounds a little strange, I know, but let me explain.   It comes up in conversation with my high school campers so often!  As we talk about “life” in private conversations and talk about topics in DIG (Discussions Involving God) sessions at camp like love, sin, freedom and suffering, I have realized my complete humanity.  I naturally react to things in such a human way—and I think that all my life I have been avoiding that realization because humans are so stupid so often.  Through these discussions we often come down to the question of “So if we know this is how we naturally act, what do we do about it? How do we deal with knowing our humanity and reacting in a wise way?”.  Good questions, huh? J
Bringing it back to the topic of transition, I am seeking answers to those questions in this area today.  I know that my heart will be broken as I leave because I naturally long to hold on to the relationships and the fake stability of the life I have been living during my time in the States.  And this is not a bad thing and I am not seeking to ignore reality—but how do I deal with my humanness in this situation?  How do I let God take over my mind instead of my grief?
As I write and think about this, I am feeling more at peace than I have for quite some time.  God IS faithful, and I have seen that over and over again.  God DOES provide, both physically and spiritually—this is so evident in my own life.  Who am I to worry, who am I to seek my own comfort?  He does not call me to ignore the pain, but to have peace as I trust Him because of His faithfulness and love while I leave this phase of life and enter into a new one.  These things about Him I know so deeply to be true, and I will choose to remember.  He has prepared me in crazy ways to go teach in Cambodia, and in the pain of leaving I am at peace and am so excited for what He will bring in this new life.  J
Over this past year of what seemed like continuous transition, I have been so encouraged by these verses:
Lamentations 3:19-24
 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
   the bitterness and the gall.
 I well remember them,
   and my soul is downcast within me.
 Yet this I call to mind
   and therefore I have hope:

 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
   for his compassions never fail.
 They are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness.
 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
   therefore I will wait for him.”

Sunday, July 17, 2011

New phase of life

In two weeks from today I will be moving to Cambodia, and a week after that I will be a real music teacher at Hope International School meeting my students and starting up my own classes.  It seems unreal as life at the moment is consumed by my wonderful campers. J Yet it is a reality, and though I feel complete peace and joy about God’s leading and my decision to go, my heart aches as the time to end my life in the States comes closer, and I recognize how hard it is going to be.  Starting a new phase of life is exciting, but it comes along with the ending of the previous phase.  God has blessed me with relationships, experiences and growth over the last 4 years in ways I did not expect, and I am so thankful for them.    
Please pray…
… as I finish my last 2 weeks at Camp Carl, for strength and focus, and for continual wisdom as we disciple our group of high school campers and help them prepare for life outside of the camp bubble.  God is doing some beautiful things! J
… for good closure as I leave the life that has been a reality for the last 4 years, especially in saying goodbye to family and dear friends. 
               … for both physical and emotional preparation for starting life in Cambodia.
As I head into these next two weeks, God has reminded me that His power is the only thing that I can rely on to get me through.  For now I am juggling so many thoughts and situations, and when I let one fall and get frustrated with myself, He reminds me as He reminds Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9—“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”.  I will choose to trust in Him for strength, endurance, focus and wisdom in the craziness that this time holds.  God is good.