This is what has been happening in my life since you last heard from me:
Nov – Dec 9: prepare for going home, pack, say goodbyes, make plans, finish up work
Dec 10-11: the trek home from Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea, to Charlotte, NC… yay family!
Dec 11-20: jet lag takes over my body and I can’t function normally… dizziness, nausea, lack of appetite, weird sleeping patterns
Dec 21-28: sinus infection takes over my body… but praise the Lord for doctors who work on Christmas Eve and prescribe awesome antibiotics (and for nasal rinses… I swear by them)
Dec 24-25: Christmas with my family for the first time since 2011!
Dec 28 – Jan 5: my friend Leah (she lives in PNG with me!) comes to visit me on her way back to PNG (she’s been in the US for 6 months).
Jan 6: do nothing. rest. catch up on Once Upon a Time.
And today. My heart is full. I feel like a person again. My God is good. It’s time to do some planning for this year I have at home. First things first… my word for the year 2015.
God taught me a lot of things during the year 2014. A lot of them he’ll have to remind me of later, since I didn’t write them down and tend to forget things easily. But one of my favorites and most impactful was how much bravery is involved in living a full life.
Here’s one example: in John 5, we read that Jesus came across a man who had been an invalid for 38 years. He sat by the pool of Bethesda hoping to be the first one to it after it was stirred each day, because that first one was healed. But he didn’t have anyone to carry him there and someone else always beat him to it. This was his life. It was all he knew. He had probably forgotten what it was like to walk, if he ever even knew at all. He was used to his life.
Can you imagine a man, who you had never met, telling you to do something that you didn’t think was possible? Jesus told him to get up and walk. And he got up and walked. You can imagine that it would take a lot of bravery to believe someone telling you to do something completely foreign, and instantly act in obedience.
That’s what we’re called to do. Instant obedience. But sometimes what we’re asked to do isn’t easy. We don’t know, or remember, how to do it. It would be much easier for us to just stay put. Keep doing what we know how to do.
The year 2015 will have a lot of new things in store for me. Talking about my experiences while in PNG, going back to school (if only for one class), living as an adult in the town I grew up in… the first time I went to PNG, it seemed easy. I didn’t really struggle with moving my life. At this moment, it seems like the easy thing to do would be to just stay where I am, not go back. I think it’s going to take a lot of bravery just to leave my family again.
So that’s my word for this year. As I seek to bravely trust my God to guide my steps, I pray you are able to do the same. Be brave enough to trust. Be brave enough to love. Be brave enough to show grace. Be brave enough to act in total, instant obedience.