Monday, September 11, 2017

"How's It Going?"

For as much as I see God, and for as much as I know He's growing me, I've been struggling to write it out. Like, at all. Little journaling, little blogging, little social media-ing. It's not coming easily. 
I love my family and friends. Y'all text, email, message, leave videos and voice mails. You're so sweet and I love, love, love to hear from you. But when you ask me how I'm doing or how it's going or how I'm adjusting... I don't always know how to respond. 

I'm good. In all honesty, I'm great. I have everything I need. I see God working all around me every day. I'm healthy. I'm safe. I feel super blessed to have a teammate who is nearly fluent in Chinese and is willing, not only to teach me Chinese, but also to translate for me any time I need her. (That's awesome.) I get to turn on the A/C at night, which helps me sleep through the heat and humidity. I have electricity 24 hours a day. I have fast wifi. 

I'm great! It's easy here. There's not much culture shock. So blessed. 

But how am I doing? How is everything going? Do you really want to know?

Because, deep, deep inside, I'm broken. I've been broken. I've barely been here a few weeks and I'm smashed to smithereens. Guess that shows how weak I am. It stinks—mostly the dead rat in our pipe, but other stuff, too. I have bedbugs. Sometimes I get headaches from the heat. The language barrier is rough. I have my teammate to translate, yes, but even interaction with my students is so strained. What are they asking me? Do they need help or are they just telling me a story? I hope I can play this game correctly with no understandable explanation of the concept or rules. 

I long ago gave my last drop of sweat and every. single. thing. is God at this point. The evaluation class I stumbled through this afternoon. The solo bike ride into town to buy some supplies for my teammate who's sick in bed this evening. Every click of the computer keyboard tonight that will eventually come together to mean something—I don't know what, but something—in the form of a blog post. It's God. It's His grace. It's His strength. 

So... how's it going? 

How's it really going? 

It's hard and exhausting, strenuous and uncomfortable. It takes all of my personal preferences and throws them to the wind—and not as much a toss as a 92mph curve ball from a lefty. It's hot. It's busy. I wrote in my journal the other day that I thought I was a decently flexible person until I put my entire schedule into others' hands. I wrote that it seems so much harder to be flexible when flexibility to God's will locks you into an inflexible situation. In other words, I miss getting to choose what I want to do throughout my days, eating what I want for lunch, and the variety of picking up whatever instrument I want to practice or book I want to read. 

I've been thinking that this Taiwan trip is a really huge thing in my life. Probably something I'll remember forever. But, when I'm in the midst of a huge thing, it looks more like millions of tiny things. Maybe being faithful to God in this big journey is being faithful, diligent, and purposeful in the millions of tiny things, moment by moment. Maybe it's not the trip as a whole that really glorifies Him, as much as it is the thousands of chances every single day to shine for Him extra bright way out here on this very dark platform. And, finally, maybe that's just how life is. Maybe Taiwan has nothing to do with that equation. 

So, if it looks like I'm handling the heat, bedbugs, rats, classes, language barrier, or whatever else well... please remember that I snapped like day three, and this is all God's grace pouring out and spilling over me. 

"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:"
(2 Corinthians 9:7-8)

I know it's hard when you've given every drop of yourself. But we can't run out of God. So keep giving and let Him give Himself through you. When God is for us, who can be against us?

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