Sunday, August 9, 2009

the process of processing

This weekend makes 3 weeks since my return to the States. I am still trying to process what this summer has held. My thoughts are not completely together, please excuse the scattered-ness of this. Here is my best attempt to explain my life as of now:

This is almost a dream to me. I feel like there is no way this can be real life. Maybe I spent a few weeks in the National Geographic magazine. Maybe these pictures belong on a World Hunger commercial. Then God says, "NOPE. This is me. This is real." Oh, but I am a human, and ever so slow to learn. Some days I just marvel at His patience with me.

I have often wondered since re-entering the US why I feel such great culture shock. How can I feel such a disconnect with the place I was born, raised, and for 21 years called home? I have blamed it on many things. American extravagance. The grocery store that almost sends me into panic attack mode due to the sheer quantity and variety of foods. People building million dollar homes. A lack of understanding and a lack of thanksgiving on the part of all of us. The ease with which we receive medical care. The amount of STUFF that just clutters our lives. I look back at these faces and cannot even begin to explain all of the feelings that come rushing back to me. I'm still trying to figure out all that God wants me to take from this, and what the future holds now.

As I lay in bed in disbelief near the end of my beautifully exhausting summer, I marvel with God at the "impossible" things that happen in my life. And I realized... when have you ever read a story of God's great movement that made a lot of sense? That didn't seem a little over the top, a little impossible? Not often. Radical, extraordinary love just doesn't make sense in a fallen world. That doesn't mean it can't happen. But it is the very nature of God. Moses parted the Red Sea, and I bet people thought, "No way this is gunna happen!" Noah spent 120 years building an ark and I bet people thought he was just flat out crazy. When Joshua went to Jericho, God told him to march around the city once for six days and seven times on the seventh day with seven priests blowing tumpets made of rams horns. I bet Joshua didn't think that made much sense. I bet Abraham thought it was insane when God asked him to kill the son of whom He had promised would come nations. Jesus told His disciples to pass out five loaves of bread and 2 fish to over 5,000 people and I bet they looked at Him like He was crazy! Later, Jesus told Peter to walk to Him on the water through a storm and I know that Peter was afraid.

We read these stories and think that they are awesome examples of God's amazing power and love, and yet sometimes we don't really believe that they could still be possible. We think that maybe Moses, Abraham, Joshua, Noah or the disciples had something that we don't. Doubtful. God is the SAME yesterday, today, always. This means that all these impossible things could just as easily happen for US too!
Radical, different, extraordinary... It still exists!

So for those of you who read and heard about my experiences and say, "No way," that's ok. Because I lived it. But here is the thing - I want big things from God. We want big things from God and then think its strange when He asks us to build an ark, or feed 5,000 or march around a building for seven days with seven priest blowing trumpets made of the horns of a ram! I am asking for big things from God. Big things like a roof to place over these homeless children to shade them from 100 degree heat and protect them when rainy season arrives. BIGGER things like 15.2 million citizens of Burkina Faso to come into a personal relationship with our Lord! So really, I am not so surprised at the craziness. Every morning as I wake up with some impossible ask in front of me, I know that God will meet it with impossible strength and love. I serve the God who used Moses, a murderer, to part the Red Sea. A God who let Peter, who would deny Him, walk on water. A God who looks at me, in all my fallen, broken weakness, and says YOU can do the impossible.
It is this huge alone-ness.
But HE is filling it. Slowly, but carefully, with people who understand, people who care, people who don't mind just doing some laundry or grocery shopping, or sitting and listening as I try to work through this until the wee hours of the morning. Just when I feel stuck, He sends encouragement and perseverance. Just when I think my heart will explode with longing, I am reminded of a little chocolate colored kid on the other side of the world who misses me and loves me just as much as I do her.
He is providing, He is working, He is in control.

To say that I am clinging to His promises would be an understatement.

"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."... "All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives, Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:16...25

May compassion continue to bleed through the cracks of brokenness..

1 comment:

  1. He is beautiful within you, Kasey. Thank you for your transparency.