|Sunset in Missouri|
This summer has really been a time for me to really find myself again. I have previously mentioned that I felt that God was urging me to trust Him as He led me to Chicago for school. So, I had stepped out in faith, leaving my Husband and friends in Orlando, packed my bags, moved in with my parents and began taking my last two pre-requisites for my graduate studies. Then after more praying, advice seeking, and talking to my husband, I felt that God was telling me it was time to move on again. He didn't want me to be separated from my husband, He wanted me to turn down my seat in the graduate program I had been accepted in, and follow my husband to LA where I would have to begin the whole school application process all over again. Again, I became nervous. Not about being with my husband again of course, but I began questioning if I should really turn down a graduate program that I was already accepted in and about to begin. Should I really put myself out on the line and head, once again, into the unknown, without the guarantee of a school or job for me? The answer, Yes.
Then, I began wondering if my summer spent in Chicago had been a waste. Had I misunderstood God's direction? Had I made a mistake? Now, looking back, I don't think so. I think God wanted me to stop relying on my husband and friends so much. I believe He was pulling me out of my comfort zone so that I could really begin to focus on Him and find my confidence and purpose in Him. Sometimes, we are called away for a little while to re-group, to find ourselves again and rediscover our identities in our Creator. That is exactly what this past summer has been for me. First, God called me out on my own and then He led me back to my roots . After all this, I realize that I have been called to do so much more. I wasn't meant to become comfortable in Chicago, to settle, or to find an identity completely separated from my husband. I am called to be flexible, move when God calls me to move, and listen closely to His direction.
|Chloe in Texas|
So, all that to say, a couple of weeks ago, I found myself once again packing up my car and hitting the road. My husband and I spent five days together driving cross country. At first my husband and I were nervous about this drive. How would we survive such a long drive, especially with a dog in the car (which was completely packed)? We were sure that we would be tired and bored and impatient for the trip to get over with, but it wasn't like that at all. The drive was stunning, I never got tired of looking at the scenery, we broke up the trip so that we wouldn't have to drive too long each day, and Chloe (our dog) was amazing. (Pictures of our trip can be seen on my Facebook page).
While on the road, I realized something about myself. I realized (like so many other TCKs) that I wasn't fully living in and appreciating the culture I am living in. Having lived and experienced so many countries and cultures, I have (without really realizing it until now) been unappreciative and underestimating of the amazing richness of America. I have always seen America as being less in some way, really only an in-between place until I was called somewhere else more amazing, more exciting, and more in need. But this trip has really opened my eyes. Watching God's creation pass by my car window, I realized that this country is amazing. Seeing the Grand Canyon, stopping at a Native American reserve, and now living in LA, I realize, this country is exciting. And looking at all the faces around me, I realize this country is very much in need. It is desperately in need of God, of His ambassadors to step up, speak out, give the love, grace, and healing that Jesus Himself gave.
|The Grand Canyon|
I have learned that I need to open my eyes and to truly see and appreciate where God has placed me and to follow His directions wherever I am. I know I am called to missions, but aren't we all? Missions doesn't just mean going abroad to an exotic or foreign location, missions can be right at your doorstep. It IS on your doorstep, and mine, and we are called to serve Him wherever we are placed. No matter how long that time may be. There is no "in-between" when it comes to running the race we have been called to run, the race is continuous and I realized I've been resting too long. I'm done waiting, I have sought forgiveness, and I am ready to make my mission field where I am, not where I hope to go.
My self-discovery was not easy or comfortable as I was stretched, my patience was tested, and I was humbled by my pride and arrogance. But I know that I am better for it, and I pray that I will continue to grow as my identity in Christ deepens. I know that this summer was not a waste, it was necessary, and I am so thankful that I learned all that I did.
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