John 14.27 – 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.
I know I write a lot about the struggles I face in my life, rather than about the good things. But usually when I am in a good head space I don’t know what to write about except how I praise the Lord and thank him for all that he has done in my life. I had a relatively OK day yesterday. Then towards the end it just started to go downhill. My emotions sinking. But the main thing is I woke up with peace yesterday, and that helped forge the way to an OK day.
Today, I wake up with fear and anxiety. My body feeling like jelly. Trying to stay focused on the task ahead: embracing this new part of the journey. Seeing it as an adventure. Trusting God for divine opportunities. Learning to let go of what was and wasn’t to be. In essence really a walk of faith. I am a foreigner in a strange land (yet again). I am a foreigner wherever I go. That is really the problem. I don’t belong in Belgium – I barely lived there. I don’t fit in with America, I only lived there for a short period. I am not Slovak because I don’t speak the language well enough though I relate to the culture better. I am not English, or British, or Welsh. The places I have lived prior to moving back to Slovakia. And I am not German. There are days where I feel like I am an outcast.
So, if I have moved around so much, why am I finding this particular move harder than any previous move I have done? I am not running away. Its become the norm to move around cross-culturally. In the past I was part of a minority. Now I am part of the majority. Do I like moving around? No, not really. But when God speaks to my heart and says go, I go. I trust him. But I am human so I am not immune to emotions, and to things going haywire. I am not a robot. So I have to learn to trust God, I have to be patient with myself, and know that things will fall into place in time. I know that the first six weeks of any move is always challenging. But that once you get into a rhythm, into a routine, things will start to fall into place.
I woke up this morning feeling anxious about going to church. Here is a woman who goes and talks into prisons, women’s groups, churches and is anxious about going to church. I struggle with making friends. People often view me as aloof. I am just shy. And it takes me a while to trust people. I am also nervous about starting work tomorrow. I seem to have gotten the green light to start. And that makes me nervous. I feel trapped and defeated that I am always doing the same job and not really making any progress with my life. That is how it seems. But I know in my heart I have made progress.
How do I let go of my pain? I take it to the cross. What other choice do I have? I know that God is walking beside me. And I need his help to see me through. I know I need to firmly plant my trust in him. There is no denying that his presence wasn’t here the previous two days. His presence was very much here, surrounding me in his embrace as I just wept my heart out. As I wept, for what I have lost, and for all that I have to face. Alone. But I am not alone, because I know people are praying for me.
Living in a strange land where you are a foreigner can bring out isolation and make you feel like no-one cares. But there is plenty of people that care. And God has not forsaken me, he has not left me, nor has he abandoned me. He is still by my side. He is still the same. Praise the Lord for that.
I pray that when I look back at this journal, the first weeks, months in Dublin, that I look back and see how far I have come. I pray that I will see the hand of God in this. I pray that the doors he opened as I prayed for this new opportunity, that the doors will continue to open. I know I am just at the start of my journey. But I believe that God has great things in store for me here. Despite the fact that I am battling discouragement, anxiety, depression. I know that God will/is my rock. That he is steadfast. That he remains the same, and that he will make a way of change in my life where there seems to be no way.
Dear Lord – thank you for your love. Thank you for your grace upon my life, thank you for embracing me with your love. Thank you for guiding me. Help me Lord to have patience with myself over these coming weeks. Help me to be at peace. Take away my fear Oh Lord I pray. Lord I pray, that you open the door for divine opportunities today in church. Lord, I pray for a small blessing amidst the debris of my life. Lord I trust you to see me through this time. Thank you Lord for the opportunities you give me. Thank you Lord for your provision. I love you Lord, and I want to worship you and serve you all of my days. Amen.