Friday, February 21, 2014

When Life Seems Too Big For You

I remember well a scenario I experienced a few times in my life. A significant moment as our family faced an important change and transition. In the last weeks of a pregnancy, as I faced the reality that a new baby would soon be here and that our family would forever be changed by his presence, I would get a little scared.
Each time we grew, it worked out well ;-)
I would look at my youngest and ask what the heck I was thinking forcing him out of his position when he was still just a baby. I would look at our home and wonder how we were possibly going to maintain any kind of order with another little person to care for. I would think about the daunting task of birth and recovery ahead of me, and, quite frankly, I would freak out a little.

Suddenly, what I had waited for and hoped for and prayed for was so close. And it loomed too large. It became scary in its significance.

My little tucked away mountain place

I find myself in a similar emotional state these days for a totally different reason. In the next six days, we will pack up the house we have called home for the last year and a half here in Costa Rica. We will bid our neighbors goodbye as we move on to a new phase in our lives and ministry here. We will, the seven us, step on to a plane here and a few short hours later, set our feet down on the ground in the place I call home that is no longer home.

I will feel the embrace of mother and sister and brother and friend. I will watch my boys bask in the joy of reunion. I will eat King Cake and shrimp po-boys and yell "Throw Me Something Mister" with all my might. And I will feel strange doing it. Because a bigger part of me is not the girl from the Big Easy than the part of me who is. And that is hard to process.

Then I'll kiss those boys and hand in hand with my beloved cross the ocean to the continent long dreamed of in my heart. I'm going to Africa. For the first time. I know Africa in my mind the way I knew my babies before they were born. Details dreamed of, scents unknown yet already familiar. A soft halo of light surrounding a face I've longed to know.

And just as my babies have done, I am sure Africa will break me with its cries and its need and its utter longing to be loved.

And then it will be time to gather up the merry band of brothers and return to this place, this land, that is home but not home too. To a new house, in a new city. With a growing ministry and an expanding vision and a shift in responsibilities.

And, friends, what one month ago or even a week ago, seemed just a move to a nearby house and a trip home and with a surreal hint at Africa sandwiched in the middle, now seems so big. So significant.

And every day, my chest hurts a little more because I know God is on the move here. I know this is bigger than the logistics make it seem. Every moment in His Word, every minute in my prayers, every deep conversation with someone I love makes my bones rattle just a little, because I feel the vibration of His movement.

And I find myself grieving just a little in the final days of my little hidden life in a little mountain village where all is familiar and yet quiet and small. And comfortable.

And that is the answer right there. Change comes to us who love God and seek to serve Him so we do not get too comfortable, so that we forever feel the ache and the need and the dependence on Him. So we always walk with the weight not knowing exactly where home is on the earth because we know it is not here at all.

We run our race and we walk toward our purpose with hearts restless to rest in Him. And He moves us. And we get a little scared. Because we cannot imagine how we could be significant to His story. And this, this is good.

Because just like the nearing of the coming of a new little one feels significant and draws us to our littlest ones and draws them to cling mightily to the safety and security of us, so this moment of life feeling a little too big for me draws me to God, clinging and crying out for Him to hold me. And Him? He runs to me, grateful for the chance to hold me.

The earth is pregnant with His plan for its salvation. The time draws near. His children cry out to be held and know that they are loved. It feels big because it is big. But nothing is too big for His love.
It's so simple in the moment. Just love. This one. Right here. Right now. That is His grand purpose for us.

So I will bid goodbye to the geographical place I have found myself hidden and comfortable in the next week. But I will not say goodbye to my hidden life, the life I have in His arms. Because it is my only chance to walk in the bigness and the realness and the significance of life with the Most High God and not be paralyzed by the reality.

I will labor well, I hope, because I will rest in Him. And I can rest easy, because I am known and in His arms, I am home.

Linking up at The Grove at Velvet Ashes today.

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