Sometimes I feel that, in order to write my thoughts, it’s like mapping out and straightening a web of tangled mess. To ask me what my life is like is to ask me to begin to unravel the countless number of “uncertainties” and the few “certainties” that I’m aware of. As I, time and time again, have tried to settle these hovering thoughts, I’ve become more aware of a specific trend in my life. It’s one that begins with confusion and ends in contentment.
As I briefly mentioned last night in a casual photo I posted on social media, the life I live is (at many times) confusing. I mentioned a few things that my life consists of in duplicates that makes my living a bit different than most others. I have two places that feel equally as “home” as the other does. With two homes comes two buildings in which I live, two beds, two families, two cultures, two mission fields, two lifestyles, two sets of norms, two standards of “cool”, two ways of communicating, and two wardrobes. My two worlds have yet to collide in big ways, and the anticipation of heading back to enter my other “home” in a couple of days has provoked a lot more confusing thoughts. Each new 90 days I visit the States will lead to the few hours of culture shock followed by the filling right back into the place I left 90 days prior, grasping the culture that I was raised in and lived in for 23 years. It’s a confusing life going between two cultures, not quite feeling like either is the perfect fit, and not completely molding into both, but at the same time loving both dearly.
I’ve learned through all of that listed above, our God is not a God of confusion, rather He is a God of peace just as His word says.
Even in the midst of confusion, my contentment abounds greater, and that’s only by the grace of God. On the hardest days at the hardest hours, I am reassured that I still wouldn’t have it any other way. My two lifestyles create me to be more me each new day. My two homes show me God in different, yet very constant ways. My God is in both places, at all times. He’s on the ground in Haiti. He’s with me through the traveling back, experiencing the small pierces of culture shock, and He is surely with me back in the States, reminding me to not forget what he has taught me on the other side. He provides an equal amount of community and encouragement no matter which “home” I am dwelling in. I am constantly reminded that He has set this work out in advance, and as I walk in it, I am growing to know Him better and become more like Jesus. That in itself is comforting, even through the fire of the process of the refining. To know I am right where I am supposed to be.. whether it be in my office with my Haitian coworkers, in my apartment with other women close to my age living this same lifestyle, in a village visiting my Haitian friends, meeting and talking with another North American who is on a short mission trip here, on a plane headed to the States, in a terminal reminiscing my past three months and trying to process to be able to share with friends and family, at my cozy home in Indiana, visiting friends in my college town, or even just spending an evening chatting about life with those who I love.. at those times, that is right where I am supposed to be. That’s what helps me to find contentment in the constant change. The Lord meets me where I’m at and takes care of my every need. My every want may not be satisfied, but He knows better than I and shows me that every day.
Even to myself, in my own heart, my life seems to be beyond the reach of understanding. So, Jesus quietly whispers to me to remember Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” If I were to lean on myself, I would fall every time, I still do fall at times. I fall into pits of wondering where I got to where I’m at and where I am headed next. One of my favorite songs we sing here says, “Pou kote’w mete’m. Pou sa ou fe nan lavi’m, ou gran.” // “For where you’ve put me, for what you do in my life, You are great.” I couldn’t say the word “thankful” in any tongue or language that would meet what its deserved for how thankful I feel on days I recognize the place the Lord has put me.Jesus reminds me that I got here by His grace alone, and I am headed on a continued journey of growing more in Him.
Even though at times my life doesn’t make clear sense, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not confusing. Jesus came to save. He came to redeem. He came to restore. He came to fulfill. He came to lot let me run dry. For those reasons alone, I am content amidst the confusion.