Friday, September 6, 2013

A Bigger Purpose

I received some reading material from our church family a few weeks back. Normally Brandon leaves shortly after I wake up, if not before, and I have time alone to eat my breakfast. As I flip through different articles and devotionals I try to find something to kick start my day. A nugget of wisdom here or a bible verse there, whatever jumps out at me.
I stumbled upon this article titled Embracing Change in the July issue of Homelife and knew it was right up my alley. For whatever reason, I didn't begin to read the article, instead it was laid open to the page on the floor of our bedroom for several days. I knew it was going to slap me in the face with truth and I guess my instinct was to avoid the convictions I knew were written upon the following pages.
Then one night as I was trying to fall asleep, Brandon already off deep in dreamland, I found myself anxious and unsettled. I couldn't pinpoint the exact reason but I have no doubts that it had part to do with hormonal changes and part to do with this season that seems to be dragging on.
Of course, I pick up the article and start to read. Basically a couple gets married, has a baby, moves across the US, on one income.
Seems pretty familiar. I found my gut in my throat...gulp... and pressed on reading.
Word after word I couldn't read fast enough.....
...if Christ is at the center of your marriage, your job isn't to create a comfortable life but to develop a life that's securely grounded, despite uncomfortable circumstances.....
Japan, uncomfortable, surely not. I can put food on the table, take a hot bath, and live more comfortable than lots of people in our world. ... it's the result of an intentional, daily commitment to submitting yourself, your plans, and your personal comfort to the authority of God...
Not so easy, my plans, whatever they may be, feel only achievable from the land of the US and personal comfort - goodbye favorite restaurants and Target shopping. I know what it sounds like, you snob. And I won't deny it, I can't hide in my sin and selfishness to want these things. And yet I read on.
...Abraham and Sarah announcing to their entire family that they were to pack up because God told them to travel to an unknown place (Genesis 12)....when Noah told his family God commanded him to build an ark because it was going to rain (Genesis 6)...reflect on Job, who was determined to trust God even when his wife didn't (Job 2)...the most shocking of all, Mary telling Joseph she was pregnant and the father was God...
Whoa. I'll let that sink in for a second.
...God doesn't promise stability; however, submission to His will does promise security - in your marriage and in your life.
Like I knew it would, the article stirred in my heart many things.
  • Our marriage is securely grounded in Christ whether we live in Alabama or Japan. Amen for that.
  • My attitude (as of lately) has not been intentional in submitting to the authority of God's will and not my own. In my eager attempt to rush home I may be missing daily opportunities to serve others. My dad told me a few years back that I have a tendency to always want to be somewhere else, instead of being where I am. He is right.
  • Knowing that we very well could be returning for a second season, with a child, has triggered some (okay a lot) of questioning of our purpose and time in Japan. The answer may show tomorrow or this week, but mostly likely we are seed planters and the harvest may not show for years. Who's lives are we supposed to touch while we are here? Maybe its someone back home reading our story? Where do we find maximum opportunities to love others and live out the truths we read daily? Or are we here, Brandon and I, for our marriage? For the bad to be whittled away (cause lets face it we are not perfect) and the good to grow into something even better. Now that to me is exciting stuff. Opportunities to change and impact others... I like it!
This past week I have only been able to feel this nasty cloud of restlessness, an unsettled feeling, and angst (none of which can be good for baby). I've been trying to hash it out daily. I thought perhaps spending more time being grateful for the small things would help or talking with Brandon. Each time I tried to bring it up the words just came out sounding like, "I hate this place get me home."  I reasoned that it was okay to feel that way, ready to be home, and while I know that it is okay to feel that, I cannot go on feeling only that.
Then last night I started writing a version of this post in my head and I started to feel better. Only problem was it was 3:30 am and I was snug as a bug, with the hamster wheel turning. I woke up today with one goal -- to shake the feeling that has been bringing me down. 
Okay so its more of a three part goal to work on.  To seek and find contentment in our circumstances. To trust the architect of my life's plan. And to focus on the positive outcomes that my very small presence could make to someone or in someone's life.
Really long story short, whatever or however it may appear our life is, it is nothing short of a life full of trials, both happy and sad, moments of anxiety and worry, frustrations, and insecurities. I do try to keep this blog a happy place, same with my Facebook and Instagram feeds, chocked full of good happy memories. I use this little space to share and open up, because a lot of times after I do, I feel much better, even if no one else reads what I have to say. 

 **Bold text is borrowed and paraphrased from Embracing Change by Wynter Pitts. July 2013 issue of Homelife**

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