Have you ever looked out your window and just seen the faithfulness of God?
I feel like I do, every day.
Sure, it wasn’t always like this. The first few days of being here in Bethlehem, I sat here looking over the hills of New Zealand suburbia and felt of brief loneliness. How could I survive, I did not know. But one thing’s for sure, transitions are tumble-some times and God has shown himself firmer than anything I’ve known before.
I have been in Bethlehem for a month now. In New Zealand, a week longer. How odd it feels. Go a couple more weeks into this month and it will have been the longest I’ve been here at a time, since I was two years old (that was ten months). I can’t exactly attribute any culture shock. My experience being here is more like a wet froggy’s– who, after years of living on land, finally discovered the use of her webbed feet . But it’s not just cultural assimilation that I’m after. My sense of belonging is rooted in the fact that God called me here.
There’s a lot of talk in our lectures about how we teach from who we are. The brilliant thing is that being here, I’m finally starting to understand a lot about myself. Kiwi culture, yes, but even more than that. I’ve had words about how I am a bridge, a connector between people. I’ve been able to see that here. I’m the one sitting (or standing, we do lots of stuff) in lectures wondering why a question’s answer can’t be “both”. If I can be a Kiwi and an American, surely we can teach reading with phonics and whole language together. It turns out, we can. I’m also the one who is absolutely delighted by the fact that the Ywamers go to THOP, and the THOPers are going out to the nations soon. It’s kinda crazy. Prayer and Missions. But it’s really just Jesus.
Jesus. I had a crazy emotional outburst at Him the other day because He was not normal. You may laugh, yes, but listen. I had gone on a walk over to the duck pond, talking to Him and Him talking to me– showing me cool and hard things and basically just loving on me. For a moment I thought I wanted a boyfriend to walk with so I wouldn’t be lonely. But I realized I wasn’t actually lonely. I just wished that the man Jesus, whom I love so much, could be explainable. I wished I could simply walk to the park, sit with Him, and my love for Him could just be understood by a ring on my finger, or at least a Facebook relationship status. But it’s not like that. And for that, I was broken.
Yet back at home He whispered softly to me– something that I knew in my heart of hearts, but was too distraught to notice it before. I have come to give you joy and not instant gratification. And only in me can you have joy. It was true. If I minimized God into who I wanted Him to be, I would have degraded His whole inexpressible, mysterious beauty. I mean, obviously, if He showed all of himself, I would be dead. But it’s more than that glory-to-human ratio. Through my frustration of how much I don’t know of Him. . . I actually come to know Him. Through the dying of self and the humiliation of the flesh. . . I actually become beautifully alive in Him. How does this even happen? I think like this: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3. I first heard this revelation of brokenness through the THOP service. Then Jesus delighted to show me in the rest of the week. For that, I am glad, and overwhelming grateful for where He’s placed me. I’ve got so much to learn with Him.
So now I can look out on the dimming dusk sky and the orange street lights– and see how I belong here.
Oh, the faithfulness of God.
He’s the only one for me.