Friday, August 31, 2012

Eyes to the East

I stare at the clock on the wall. The second hand moves with slow deliberation, each movement evidence of another second that will never return. I thought the countdown was on a week before I left Young Disciple to return home, but now, I'm counting hours.

Reality still won't sink in.

Yet, I have two packed bags, ready to be checked in in Seattle. A backpack, and a small carry-on await my attention. I only have two nights left in everything familiar--in America itself.

I stare at the computer screen. What am I doing? 

I know I've been called. The Lord has opened the door to Thailand in such a way that I cannot but respond to the call. He's opened so many doors and bade me walk through lately, I almost am not sure what part of life's house I stand in. One thing I know: one more door is wide open, and within three days, I will have walked through it. That's exciting!

Yet, it's scary. Because I know that when I come back, I will be different. I will never be the same from this trip; I can feel it. And change can be a scary thing.

All the same, I've learned that change is not all bad. In fact, change is often our best friend, if the change is ordered of the Lord and we are willing to walk within His will. Change can be a wonderful thing... It can be the most thrilling, glorious, and exhillarating experience that can ever befall us. But people don't often see it as thus.

So, only two more nights. Three more days. 58 hours. And then... change.

On the brink of another change in my life I stand, hand clasped tightly in my Father's. I look up at Him, and then across the wide expanse of land before me. Change. A thrill of fear and excitement pass like a tremor through me. My Father squeezes my hand. "Trust Me, child. I know where I am leading you."

"This I know, Father, but it's new. It's strange. It's scary." I draw back a little.

My Father places His arm around me. "Embrace this change, daughter. I have been working out your life story, and this change is necessary to the next chapter."

"But I am afraid of failing."

"You need not fear of failing; for with My power beside you and in you and working through you, you cannot fail, though all of hell itself were detailed against you."

I nod and stand up straighter. "What do I next, Father?"

"Eyes to the East, My child. Eyes to the East."

So I stand, with eyes to the East, thinking of a land full of strangers towards which my face is turned...and the land full of loved ones I am about to leave behind.

To those to which I come, I would say this: May God do through me for you all that He intends to.

To those I leave behind: Courage. Faith. Prayer. We shall meet again soon, by God's grace. And know that all the while I'm gone, my heart will be thinking of you as well.

Eyes to the East. Thoughts to the West. And heart held toward Heaven.

All I am, Lord. Work mightily through me.

The journey has almost begun.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


I'll admit I don't know what I'm doing.

But I also strongly protest to myself that the Lord knows what He's doing--and really, that's all that matters.

God stretched me for a long time. After the miracle of my $1300 donation, things seemed to grind to a halt. No more donations, no progress, no nothing.

Was I worried?

Well, yes and no.

No in that I knew God had a plan.

Yes in that I also knew that I needed the money...SOON.

In the past few weeks, the Lord has blessed. My stated goal of around $5000 is over halfway completed, my family is now in possession of my computer, which a church member donated to me (thank you and God bless you, Jodi), and I have a scary-looking paper lying on my desk, with a seal at the top and lots of places for me to fill out for my visa. God is making things happen.

For the last three weeks, I've been caught up in the throes of Young Disciple Youth Bible Camp and proofreading. But I've had the privilege of being reunited with Hannah and Sharon during that time. I didn't really realize how much I'd missed them til Hannah tried to sneak up on me when they first got here.

The only down side to their being here is that it's a signal.

It's making this crazy adventure more real all the time.

Especially when I consider that my fellow intern, Nathan Arthur, took off for college just yesterday... and I have only two or three weeks left here at YD.

It was scary to come here, I remember.

But it's going to be hard to leave.

Yet, I have to look at my purse on the floor--a Karen bag that Hannah brought back for me--and think of the Karen sarong/skirt in my room at home and smile.

I can only hope I'm ready.

I got an email this afternoon from Lena Adams. She and her husband were the founders of the school back when it began, and they're over there as permanent fixtures. First it was visa information, then a letter I'd need to send with my application... and then a request.

She had something for me to prayerfully consider. Something that blew me away. And scared me.

She asked me to consider a different living arrangement, other than living with the Stecks.

She asked if I would consider being a girl's dean. Living in the dorm with over 100 girls who all desperately need love, attention, and a Christ-like example. Immersing myself in a bunch of girls of all ages who I don't know, whose language I can't speak, and who have come (some of them) from horrific backgrounds that I can't identify with.

Really? Me?

How qualified am I to do that sort of thing?

That's a scary prospect. Terrifying, in fact. But if the Lord has called, how can I say no? How can I refuse an opportunity to come into direct contact with scores of precious young people--direct contact--and possibly have a lasting, eternal influence on their lives? How can I say no...?

And yet, how can I say yes?

God only knows.

I'd like your prayers as I pray myself about this step. I'm not sure if the Lord wants me to accept...and yet, I have a feeling in the pit of my stomach that He's opening a door and asking me to walk through it.

It's coming. Sooner than I think...

I'm getting excited...getting scared...

But somehow, the distant shore of Thailand is looking closer and more inviting all the time.