So what was the problem? Well, that would be me. I was exhausted when we got here - physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually... and I haven't felt so unsettled and discombobulated in -- well, ever! And all week I've been struggling to stay positive and not get discouraged. I knew I needed to give myself time, but instead of it getting better as the week went on, it was getting worse. A few things came up this week that left me thinking "I didn't sign up for this!" And the struggle I was having adjusting left me afraid of how I will do when the adjustment is even more dramatic. I just plain got scared - but mostly felt sort of depressed.
In His never ending grace, God called me on it yesterday. I spent some much needed time in His Word and ended up reading Lamentations 3-5 and Revelation 15. Lamentations is pretty full of... lamenting while Rev. 15 has an amazing section of worship sung by victorious saints with harps. While I noticed a major contrast between the two passages, I didn't feel very moved while I was reading (though I do want one of those harps someday!), but afterward felt God pretty clearly telling me I needed to make up my mind.
"Do you want to be here or not?"
I knew my answer was going to be "Yes" but I wasn't ready until a few hours later to admit it. I knew I had to really think through it and choose what I wanted because I had the distinct feeling that if I wanted to go home, He would let me. And I didn't want to decide what I wanted based on how it would impact all of you or our church back home or our youth group... this time it was just about deciding for myself what I wanted.
"And if you do want to be here, do you want to spend the next 3 1/2 months lamenting or worshiping???"
Well, that was an easier question to answer. But later as I prayed with a friend from home (on the phone) I realized one of the reasons I was struggling with the first question was my fear about what "being here" means. I'm not just saying "yes" to being here. I'm saying "yes" to going somewhere further away and far more foreign than this little city. And I needed to make up my mind again that I still want THAT.
So, I did. : ) And somewhere in between God asking the question and my finally answering it a few hours later, the fog lifted and the sun came out in my heart and my head. I'm done with the lamenting and am feeling at peace and more at home than ever... at least for now. I'm also so grateful for the lesson God taught me because I KNOW that I'm going to have to keep making up my mind every time I discover new challenges. Every time I think "I didn't sign up for this!" God will likely say again... "No, you didn't. So what do you want now? Make up your mind."
And sometimes, knowing what I want will make all the difference.
"And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and over the number of his name. They held harps given them by God and sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb: 'Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages. Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. ALL NATIONS will come and worship before you...'" -Revelation 15:2-4