This month is particularly special for me because it marks one full year since I have been home from my time serving in India. Reflecting back on that time seems so far away, although I remember how impacting it was to return so suddenly without realizing one year in the future I would be preparing to launch for North Africa.
So many memories, emotions, people, places, and thoughts rush to mind and it can be difficult to focus, but one thing is certain, I prayed to God I would return home with the intention to get back overseas and it is because of His grace I have this opportunity, to be sent another time. It didn’t matter the place or the risk or the inaccessibility.
Lord lead me to disciple the nations. Lord lead me to learn more about you. Lord lead me to love others like you love me.
I am so grateful that I am able to spend Christmas at home. This year I fully realized the privilege that it is since last year I was stuck in airports, hotels, YMCAs and I didn’t know when I was coming home from India. I remember a year ago one night, thinking about the meaning of Christmas, in my hotel room that I was still so privileged to have, but staring outside my rooms’ window, into a clamoring, dark city that wasn’t celebrating as much as I hoped they would, understanding the momentum can be an illusion if not centered on Christ. That Christmas traditions, gifts, food, and company are meaningless without Christ; that Christmas at home is no more a place than the mission field is a place. Staring out that window into a city that didn’t meet my expectations about celebration simply because I was angry with my life and how it wasn’t meeting my own. Remorseful, I instantly prayed, asking for forgiveness for my slight against my own frigid faith. Promptly following prayer, I remember I felt, thought, sensed, and remembered a joy I blocked myself from understanding during that hectic, divisive, distracting time. The light that Jesus brings needs to be celebrated without expectation, should be celebrated in darkness, and will always be celebrated at home because He IS home!
Ephesians 3:16-19 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
I’m going to leave a small reminder for myself:
You believe God makes all things new.
You believe that Jesus overcame death.
You believe nothing really good gets built when everything is easy.
Love should be shared in dark places, especially in dark places.
Home is found in faith.
Do not keep telling the story of suffering, it is part of your narrative, not all of it.
Forgiveness is light, trust, gratitude, and grace.
It is easy to fall into a life of whining, self-indulgence, and fear.
Choose to live with hope and courage.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Yours in Christ.
P.S. Please be in prayer for these last few weeks leading up to my launch day for training on January 13th. The Lord has provided so much already and my support is still building. I pray He will see me through, I have faith the Lord will provide everything I need. Please pray for the team overseas as they anticipate more workers. Please pray for discipline during this important time of preparation.