Maybe you’ve heard our stories about monitor lizards living in our yard, trying to catch the live chicken my jungle pilot husband brought home as a gift from a remote Borneo village.
You’ve seen pictures of our kids surrounded by cute Indonesian faces and heard how my kids think there is a beach everywhere, and that Grandma (one lives in Colorado, one in Indiana), must live on an island, because everybody does, right?
You’ve read here about orphanages and dirt airstrips and power outages and tribal unrest. Maybe you picture earthquakes and tsunamis and terrorists and volcanoes.
You might call this life of ours in Indonesia many things—risky, adventurous, sacrificial, beautiful, hard, exciting, envious, dreadful. But you probably wouldn’t call it “normal.”
Oh, but it is.
It’s normal not just because my kids make cookies with me and there are always dishes to clean and I check Facebook most days….the days we have good electricity, anyway.
It’s normal not just because our kids aren’t perfect, we’re not perfect, our team isn’t perfect. We’re nothing special. We do nothing that you couldn’t do, if you really had to. We aren’t tough as nails, or sweet as sugar or brave as lions.
It’s normal not just because sometimes I find my life scary and sometimes I wonder how I got here, and sometimes I don’ think I’m cut out for this.
But really, you know why it’s so normal? It’s because if you had what I had, if you believed what I do, if you experienced what I get to see every day, you would do this too.
If you knew how lost I have been, how messed up I have thought, how wrong my life was going. And if you knew how I had nothing, am nothing, could do nothing to make it OK. If you knew how in that utter nothingness I had been picked up, washed up, bundled up, loved, cherished, forgiven, given a fresh start, given a purpose, given mind-blowing riches, you’d want to do what I do too.
This moving-to-other-side-of-the world is nothing compared to what I’ve been through. If you want to see something crazy, then open yourself to that kind of love, life, hope, joy. Then everything that happens afterwards is completely understandable, completely explainable, completely normal.
So, what about you? Do you want to stop building a life out of things that don’t last? Wanna stop chasing dreams that don’t matter? Wanna stop holding onto things that hurt you at worst and don’t love you back at the very least? Because that would be crazy. Who would do that? That’s just not normal.
Are you living a life that’s normal? Do your choices make sense with what you believe? Do you wanna stop doubting what you know to be true, stop clinging to lies? Do you have courage because of how valuable He made you? Do you live fearlessly because it only makes sense to trust in truth instead of chasing problems with worry? Are you ready to love those both near and far, in the home and out of it, no matter the response?
Do you wanna give it all away to those most in need, shout about your joy from a volcano, run to the ends of the earth with this amazing story of hope?
Because if you did, I wouldn’t call you crazy. Wise? Sure. Free? Absolutely. And most of all, loved. Yes, and positively normal.