Saturday, November 12, 2011

an oasis

There is so much about Kuwait that doesn't say oasis. But after returning from our summer in the States, I began seeing how our time here has been like drinking good water, sitting in shade. When we first arrived, I went through months of second guessing the course of my life, hating decisions I had made alone or ones made with Justin, sensing loss more than gain. I wrote about that here and here. Then I entered a stretch of seeking to know God, understand my faith. I remain in that stretch.

I am not tidy. I wish I were neatly packaged. There is a lot that I learn and undo and examine and pray about and the days here stand in front of me saying Ha. Learn this. Most of what I'm learning is grace and peace and what it means to love with a genuine heart. What it is to forgive. What that looks like. So I read the Bible, many times reading the same passages or chapters again and again, gleaning bits as I go. I am learning to be honest in my prayers.

And you know, it does feel odd to write this plainly. Living my faith is an exercise in humility. Because, as I said, I am not tidy. I think I have figured out how to be content or how to not be jealous and am met with a situation saying Can you really be content in this? My pride speaks. I fall.

To oasis: the different challenges of living here give me better understanding of my desire to live for God. What that really means, right where I am. I think about some of what I've learned in this past year or so and I have wondered if I might have learned the same lessons elsewhere. I don't know. Maybe.

Learning: Not to worry. To be content. No gossip. Character over reputation. Be kind, even if they aren't. Be gentle with my words. Open my home. Listen. Share. Speak carefully. And more.

Life and faith should be growing. For example, I can see now that I do not worry myself over what people think as much as I did a year ago. To get to this place, I walked through hurt and discomfort and misunderstanding and anger. And it sucked. And I wanted to quit and return to the familiar worry about every little thing you did wrong and the very favorite be nice so you are liked because both are such easy games. Instead, I reached a point where I was sick enough of my games, seeing them for that. A competition in my head that I would never win. I quit the worry. I would start down a worry thought path and stop. I acknowledged the thought and said: I am choosing not to dwell on this. And it was very hard to learn to do this. Very hard to leave the easy worry and redirect my mind. Because I am not finished, I keep learning this in different ways.

I want to tell you more about the freedom I feel too. Not flaky I feel so great because God's so good freedom but freedom that reassures me I am being refined, good work is being done in me. But I have a lasagna I need to put together, so I need to wrap this up. I have thought so much about how cruddy it is to live here, bumping across sand to get to a paved road and bad traffic. Missing family. Missing green trees and running paths. Missing libraries. But something is changing in me and I can say I like Kuwait. Sometimes I want to tack on a list of qualifiers, but I can say it. Because I am growing up in my faith here. And a year from now, I want to see further change in my  mind and heart. I want my time here to be praise to God. In my everyday regular life. If not in Kuwait, where? Where would be a better place?

1 comment:

Sergio en Colombia said...

i loved everything about this post. beautifully put. i am happy for your contentedness (is that a word?). love to the whole fam!