Life, Truth, & Perseverance Inside The Twilight Zone

Can you hear the music???

Right now, frankly, our lives feel a bit like the Twilight Zone. We know very little about where we are (Hong Kong), we don't know what's wrong with us (Doug's illness), and we have no idea where we're going.

After almost six weeks of testing, consultations, and appointments, we are still very much in limbo. We don't even know where we'll be for Christmas, 7 days from now. At a time like this, it is easy to feel dejected, cast off, frustrated, unusable, and like you're wasting your time.

OH, but HE knows. Our Jesus knows. He knows what it is to be misunderstood. He knows what it is to feel like 'there's so much else that needs to be done- why do I have to leave? NOW?' He knows what it is to have a heart for a people that you can't physically be with anymore. He knows what it is to feel tired, exhausted, beyond fatigued. And YES- He knows what it is like to be without a home, constantly moving and shifting from place to place to place for more than this measly twelve months that we've been at it.

This post is, more than anything, a line in the sand: to share what I'm learning, and record what He's doing right now, in the midst of uncertainty, in a place that we never anticipated we'd be. When *OUR* plans would have had us someplace completely different, not dealing with any of this unknown mess.

I am so aware of what James 4 says- "Listen you who say, today or tomorrow, we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business... Why- you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? Instead you ought to say- 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.' As it is you boast and brag, and all such boasting is evil."

Throughout this year, I have felt like we were living faithfully- willing to go wherever and do whatever. I have heard other people say they were secretly prideful of their "big move" overseas. I honestly haven't experienced that, but now I realize, I had rested on the "plans" I had in my head (even though I THOUGHT they were His) that we were "career" people, going to be overseas long-term. So, I figured, let's take time, learn language, build, be in it for the long haul, etc... and I am just feeling very differently about it right now... like we need to work when we have the opportunity- between medical issues, meetings, homeschooling, babies, times in the States, and who knows what else (only He knows)... we don't have "career"-- we just have the short amounts of time HE gives us to do whatever He lays out before us.

And course, that may be for "career"-- and yet, we don't know... so we need to work heartily as if our bridegroom returns tonight!

What's amazing about all of this is that we thought we would have a good length of time after having Maranatha to get to study language intensely, work on building bridges into the community, and be intentional about making our lives there. And yet, here we sit, in Hong Kong. What we thought His intentions were have turned out not to be His intentions at all!

In that same book of James, it starts out like this, in chapter 1, verse 2:
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

So, I'm going to walk away from this post with the aim of walking joyfully, knowing His intentions for me are good. His plans for me are righteous. His love for me is pure. And His glory will be the end result of it all!


Stephanie C. said...

Thank you for your honesty, Jessica. I canNOT imagine what life is like for you right now or the thoughts that go through your head and the emotions you experience daily...even hourly. I pray for peace, steadfastness, wisdom, joy, and hope...because your (our) Hope will not dissapoint you (us). Romans 5:3-5 speaks of this.
p.s. i have not mailed anything to you b/c I am just waiting to see what happens

the blackwells said...

Thanks for sharing this. It is a great reminder for someone like me -- someone that likes to have the next 5 years planned out and organized. He hasn't promised us 5 years or even 1 to go exactly like we think it ought to, huh? And thank goodness really, looking back on my life I would have really missed out on some HUGE blessings if my 5 year plans had gone according to me.
Thanks again for the post!

dcrmom said...

Jess, I'm so encouraged by this post. And yet, heartbroken to hear of your struggles. I hadn't read back far enough in your blog to know your husband was facing medical problems. Having just come through some scary and unknown medical problems of my own, and still not confident that they are resolved, I know a little bit what you guys must feel like right now. But I just can't imagine going thru all that overseas. Your faith and trust in God during this time is a wonderful testimony of His work in you, and He is glorified through your faithfulness and joyfulness in these circumstances.