August 13, 2014 § Leave a comment
June 19, 2014
Physical. Time. The last summer to spend with friends I would split paths with and would most likely never hear from again having just graduated. Simplicity. 4 shirts, 3 pants, 1 pair of shoes. 1 backpack. Stripped of privilege and access. Communication. Media and the outside world. Here and now. With no affirmation of action from peers-no distractions.
Emotional. Control. My future- the possibility that I may be returning to no future. No plan. No opportunity. Individuality. I don’t look the same without my style, without my stuff. Comfort. Familiar languages, foods, climate. No time orientation. Security. If I’m being vulnerable today, I am scared. So much unknown.
We fasted. We became hungry. We started to look to something else to be fed. We prayed. We confessed. We repented. We watched. We listened. We prayed more. We wept. We became angry. We were confused. We were touched.
There are periods of time where I just sit in silence and realize that the world is actually very quiet. We are a generation that is so desperate to hear God’s voice, but I wonder if He is always shouting and pleading with us through all the noise of our lives. Fasting from the noise, I have realized that I am too weak to even acknowledge my own barriers to God’s voice, I just expect Him to speak louder. He has granted a part of Himself to always be with me in my conscience, has allowed His own Son to suffer ultimate shame to death to become an intercessor, and yet I always feel like He is just “too far.” The beauty of grace is that God still desires to meet us where we are, but I believe we need to be consistently reevaluating if we are fully allowing ourselves to be placed in a position to listen.
August 4, 2014 § Leave a comment
How do I start from the beginning, when I’m at the end?
Sometimes I am tempted to assimilate back into my home culture and stuff my experiences in a pocket, praying that no one noticed my summer absence. I want to pick up a regular pair of shoes, dust them off, retrace a summer’s worth of steps, and then run the other direction back into my own security of ignorance. However, I know that will only last for so long, and surely the weight of what my pocket contains will eventually throw off my balance and begin to cripple me from the inside out.
On another hand, with this realization in mind, I am tempted to isolate myself from everything I know because this country and my own privilege now remind me of different avenues of oppression that systemically minimize the quality of life for families I have lived in solidarity with for the past few months. Especially a grandma that I love, and miss more than I can explain right now. I fear that my new convictions will be greeted apathetically by my family and friends, and they will use the cliche that “I have come back so ‘holy'” or “missions changed me” as an anesthetic from entering into my experiences. I fear that people just want the words, and the insider information. A pretty painted picture of another culture. Not the experience. Not the feelings. And certainly not the convictions that may cause an uncomfortable self-awareness. Not the ones that force people to dwell on their actions and the state of their lives.
This may be the tension I am currently sitting in, but I have also tasted the goodness of my God this summer and seen glimpses of the redemption that is to come. And due to these facts, I can’t help but give him the praise He deserves. So this whole account is a testament to the fact that I wholeheartedly believe the plans God has for our lives are MUCH bigger than our own plans.
While in Bangkok, my team and I participated in a communication fast to cut out the distractions that often prevent us from building community in America. Most of the posts for this period of time will be excerpts from a journal I kept, and quotes from scripture and other books I was able to read. I think I will be a slave to my computer for months if I copy everything in depth, so I am settling with the more significant ones in the hopes that if I spark your interest, you will be willing to endure some time with me to talk. Glory be to God, and I pray that you would be able to accept my account with an open heart and mind.