Sunday, March 3, 2013

Life Right Now

 
How do I even begin to write when so much is going on? We've been continuing on with our usual life in my work, church, friends, and our community here in Dallas. But on top of that we're intensively raising support for our work overseas.
 
Raising support is kind of exhausting, especially when you hate to be the center of attention and sort of suck at sales. It's been very draining at times, but increasingly I see why this is so important. This is refining. It helps us articulate what we're doing and why, it helps us feel the gravity of the sacrifice of those partnering with us financially. It adds value to what we're doing - it's not something we simply decide to do and then off we go - it takes blood, sweat and tears to get there. It's a period of a spiritual battle for us as well, wondering how flawed and ordinary people like ourselves can be useful, and questioning the strength of our faith, our marriage, our parenting, and our abilities. The grace and love of God - for me, for us, for the world.... I understand it a little bit better and the externals fade a little more.

We go forward with increasing excitement. We've visited a local Indonesian church here and I am overjoyed to find that I can sit and tell stories and joke with the young moms my age IN Indonesian. I love the easy-going humor in most Indonesians, and the extent to which so much of it feels familiar to me. We're being immersed into current missiology, terms like CPM and UPG are used without blinking an eye. As we talk to people and go to conferences, I've been overjoyed to find people I knew as a child who have faithfully served all these years all across Indonesia and have seen the fruit of their work. I find us joining hands in a common vision between Indonesian church leaders and international missionaries of all stripes, and ya'll, that's cool.

 
The past month or so has been quite a journey for me personally. Some opportunities popped up for me at work here, opportunities I never would have imagined myself equipped for. That has pushed me into first feeling totally honored, then confused about my calling, then motivated and empowered to do a better job at planning for my role in Indonesia.  I am wrestling with the expectations and vision for what a woman can do, and man, can I tell you that when people dream for you, it totally grows your own vision. More on this later, I'm still in the middle of it now and hardly know what's happening in my head.

Doing all of this with a kiddo? Umm, possibly crazy and usually the choice is between crying or just laughing at the ridiculousness of it all. The poor kid has been put through long road trips, ill-timed flights, late nights, and meetings and conferences in which no one expects a child to show up. It's true that he'll grow up more flexible than most kids and it'll fit in just fine in Indonesia, but it doesn't work in America when a kid melts down during your meeting or conference session or college class!

And then there's the fact that Judah has newly-diagnosed allergies to several things, including peanuts, which are in everything in Indonesia. And he's showing a speech delay, which I'm not yet freaking out about, but keeping a concerned eye on. What does this mean for our future?

Last week we were in Chicago support-raising and it was a packed time, but oh, the people we know? They are amazing. I found myself humbled at the end of every day at really how impressive each person and family is. Some of them intentionally live simply, far under their means, so that they can give. They have foregone impressive careers and homes to serve - students, their neighborhoods, in the ghetto, in small church plants. They've done the painful work of starting new things from nothing, in radio, in micro finance. They open their homes in amazing hospitality. I just feel like, wow, we know amazing, faithful, loving, joyful people. I want to be like them.

 
And so? We are busy, but I am thankful for this time. This preparing stage is a roller coaster, but it is also sweet, and I can't ever recapture this, this time with Judah at this age, these last months here and with the people at my work that have become a family, the ending of these 12 years in America. Someday this will feel like a lifetime ago.

2 comments:

Rach said...

That's a cute picture of J and Isaiah. It sounds like things are so crazy right now...I hope you get some downtime soon.

nathan johnson said...

I remember support raising, and I can't imagine trying do that as parents. Praying for you guys, keep at it.