Saturday, August 23, 2014

Hard things, Good things

I’ve been a bit quiet this year. On this blog, anyway. I could blame it on many things—traveling back from the States to Indonesia, caring for my young kids, busy overseas living, chances to serve, homeschooling my kindergartner, time spent on other writing endeavors.

But it wouldn’t be completely true.

And one thing I wanted to do when I started this blog a few years ago was to write true things. But not just true things, hope-filled true things.

Writing helps me make sense of the sometimes heart-breaking life here and my own frustrating limitations and my usually too-small faith. Writing takes the fatigue-filled, sweaty, confusing muddle in my head and creates some sense and hope and connection with you.

This year, there’s been a lot of muddle.

And this year, too, I’ve written a lot. I just haven’t put it on here.

Some of it’s stuff that didn’t have enough truth in it yet. Other stuff, not enough hope yet. But most of it is just too private to share as specifics to the whole world. Or at least to whoever is listening here.

But as I think and process and write, this is what I can say now. This year has been full of hard things, but also full of good things. And they came together, like the life-sucking heat and humidity that come with these gorgeous life-giving blue skies here in Borneo.

We see it all the time in the world: war happens and we hear of heroes, sickness spreads and we learn about acts of compassion, terrorism attacks and we see stories of forgiveness.

But then you probably already know that in your own life.

When we are stretched, we grow.  When we are at our weakest, that’s when we see how strong we can be. When we think we can’t do it anymore, we can look back and see how far we’ve already come.

When we are stuck thinking God is small, He brings us through something that shows us how big He really is.

And for me, I’ve spent years fighting things in this place—culture shock, hard things that just shouldn’t happen, my own exhaustion, disappointments in others, in myself, by others in me. And then there was a moment this year when I wondered if I’d lose this place, wondered if I’d have to leave, wondered if the struggle would finally be over and I could just go home. 

Whatever "home" means anymore.

And that’s when I realized I wanted to stop fighting this place and instead, wanted to fight for this place. Fight for my place in this place. Fight for the right to struggle and be stretched and grow and change, And the right to be here, being a part of the lives of others I know who are doing the same.

I’ve seen other good things in the midst of the hard things, too. I know now what grace means. The kind of grace that comes in the form of friends who take us in at our lowest, our worst, our weakest and just sit with us in it, then walk with us out of it.

I know now what trust is—how it means opening my hands that have been clenching tight my most valued treasures. Not many treasures at this point. Nothing material. I’ve left my home country, given up watching my siblings’ babies grow up, given up ever having non-frizzy hair. But as I open up my hands with those few deeply valued things left, I watch God—not take them from me as I’d always feared—but fill my open hands and life with more amazing things

I know that while this life often demands sacrifice, it’s not my sacrifice that saves others, that saves my family, that saves me. It’s His.

I know that while I’m still shaking a bit on the inside, it’s no longer from fear, but from wonder.


  1. I read your blog and am blessed to know you and watch your life unfold so beautifully as you and your husband serve so far away in distance but so close in my heart,

  2. Thank you so much, Connie! You've encouraged me today.

  3. You need a good visit from your old walking buddy! However, I have since graduated to running (albeit, it is now on a treadmill...a little easier on my old knees) :-) Blessings to you, girlfriend, as you "wonder" in God's grace and steadfastness! Miss you!

    1. Ronda! Yes, I do! Oh my that would be so fun to go running with you...miss you!

  4. Wow thank God I found your blog. You're such an inspiring woman. It's not easy leave your country and serving in another country.
    God bless you and your family and every single thing of your life.

    but can I ask you something? where exactly do you live n Borneo?

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