Just how am I feeling about it all?
Lately, I have been often getting the question of, “So, how are you feeling about all of this?” in regards to moving to Thailand.
Wow. I understand why people ask it, but wow – where do I begin?
I thought I was feeling pretty calm, until I flew with Abigail down to see a dear friend, Sarah, in Phoenix 2 weekends ago. Sarah is a dear friend of mine and I was excited to get some good time with her as well as sneak in one more free flight for Abigail before she turned 2 (this Thursday). When I got there, I began having a decent amount of anxiety and wondered what on earth was going on with me. After a bit more time and some thought, I finally realized, “Whew, I am actually pretty stressed out about the whole Thailand thing.” Here – let me paint you a pretty hilarious (in retrospect) picture of how this played out in one specific instance …
On the Saturday night when I was in Phoenix, Sarah and I had a skype date with our friend, Michelle, who lives in a southeast Asian country. We began skyping and were getting caught up when some of our technology began to fail us. Michelle’s video capabilities seemed to be messing with her audio, so she shut off the video, leaving us to only hear but not see her. Then, at one point, she wondered about our video, so we shut that off as well, leaving us with only audio. Then, awhile later, Michelle’s audio started to go in and out, so that we only caught parts of what she was saying. (A recap – we can’t see other other, and now we can barely hear Michelle – got it?!) Anyway, at one point before her audio began fading Michelle asked me, ” So, how are you feeling about Thailand?” Friends, I could not help it – I began bawling and could not even speak. So, Michelle is sitting over in Asia listening to me cry (Sarah finally let her know that’s what was going on) and can’t comfort me because her audio has gone haywire. None of us can see each other. But here’s the beautiful part – despite all of this, Michelle still offered to pray for me and typed out the prayer via skype IM. It was such a beautiful picture of friendship and of someone comforting me in the best possible way … I love thinking back on that moment and yes, even chuckle a bit at the thought of it all.
That weekend, I eventually put my finger on some of the specifics of my anxiety. Among other things, I realized that us getting ready to move overseas and knowing that we were really leaving and all that encompasses is just hard. I realize that doesn’t sound all that profound, but in a culture that tends to see struggle as something to be “fixed” or altogether avoided, it is. I can call this stage of our life what it is – hard. That’s neither good nor bad – it just is. In fact, I realized that I should probably be more concerned if I wasn’t struggling at all with the upcoming move; I would then wonder if I just emotionally detaching from it all.
I began to think about what my response to the difficulty of it all should be. I realized there might be some areas where I wasn’t trusting God in it all and I knew I needed to talk with Him about them, as well as fill my mind with truth from the Bible. However, I also realized that I needed to be comfortable with the fact that things are fairly difficult now and will quite possibly continue to be for awhile. Ugh – “cozying up” with the difficulty of life? Sounds like a great time (note sarcasm). It might not be the most comfortable or fun thing, but I’m pretty sure it’s the right thing in this situation – struggle drives me to Jesus and that is something I continually need. I desperately need to be driven to Him to be remember that despite the fact that I am not in control, He is. That He has good plans (His definition of “good”) and wants to guide my life. That He loves me and is the only one who can me true peace through Jesus’ death on the cross.
So, in the midst of sorting through and selling or giving away the majority of our things in order to move into a smaller, furnished place at the end of the month (that, my friends, is a challenge in and of itself!), I am trying to “get comfortable” with the hardness and intensity of life right now. And that is how I’m feeling about it all …
I hope sharing this doesn’t make you feel badly for me. Please don’t. Instead, pray that I would run to Jesus to be reminded of truth, and to be loved on and comforted. I pray you’ll do the same when you encounter difficult times of your own.