Sunday, July 15, 2012
Through the good times and bad
Sunday was both good and bad ... Things aren't always peachy.
Yesterday (Sunday) I had the opportunity to go with one of the Thai teachers here, Cru Plume, to a church where her husband preaches. It was awesome to see these people worshiping, but I had no clue what was going on being that it was in Thai. Pros there are to see the dedication that these people have to serving the Lord, and that I was able to rejoice with Cru Plume and make her happy. The con is a feeling like I wasn't spiritually satisfied. That leads me to frustration, because I shouldn't have to rely on a pastor's teaching to satisfy me spiritually, but instead on Christ... so thus my frustrations began.
Later I went to walking street. Basically a street they close off on Sunday, filled with venders and goodies. A yellow songtao made my journey easy (fixed rate because they only have one route), but they stop running at 6, so I knew I would need to take a red songtao back home. I joyfully met up with Allison and Anna and we had a good time perusing the vendors, and contemplating things to buy. Soon I realized that I needed money, especially if I wanted to get home! I considered how much I must have spent since I've been here, and anger at myself started rising - what I'm I doing, I should be frugal! Another frustration arose. Bidding farewell to my lovely friends, I headed back to the road busy with cars, tuck-tucks, and songtaos seeking to drive the foolish foreigners home for outlandish prices. I stopped at an ATM along with way, chastising myself for the need to do that. Then there was the songtao.
A red songtao stopped alongside me, and the driver motioned as to where I was going. I tried explaining, but was met with blank stares from he and his wife. Thankfully (as I can see is the Lord's protection) there was a woman sitting in the back who understood English and explained for me.
High price. Okay - I sorta expected that. Climbing in.
The woman and I began to talk. She had worked in Bush Gardens in Williamsburg, PA for a summer and she shared how she enjoyed it. As we talked, I kept thinking about how I could even slip in a mention of my Savior - but I didn't. Soon, she was dropped off, and I was left in the back of the songtao, alone, contemplating my distrust and weakness in sharing. Frustration grew as I chastised myself for not trusting that God would give me words, and I thought about scripture that calls us to boldness for the faith. I saw a 7-Eleven sign coming up on the right, a marking point for where I live, so I rang the buzzer, paid, and watched the songtao drive off... noticing it was the wrong 7-Eleven. Still, it wasn't too bad, maybe a quarter mile until the entrance of the area in which I'm living, and I began to walk.
The walking lasted a little more than I had anticipated, for although I reached the housing area in which I lived, and was safely in the bounds of the gate, I had forgotten the turns it took to get back. Things look different in the dark. Both stray and gated dogs bark as you pass the massive gates that seem to define living in middle class to upper class Thailand. I wasn't worried in the sense that I felt very safe, and knew, as I always do when I'm lost, that I'd eventually get there. The key is eventually. And although worry doesn't define my feeling, anxiousness does. As I walked I considered the events of the day. I was frustrated at so much, and started crying out to the Lord, more as a plea to make it stop. My anxiety heightened my frustration being that we are to be "anxious about nothing" and I made that request known to God... but my frustrations were still with me.
After an hour I made it home.
I'm thankful Scott and Sarah were Skyping with family, because I don't think I would want them to see me as I was. Hot, sweaty, and ready to snap from frustration - a hot mess. I ran upstairs, turned on the air, took a shower and got ready for bed. I remember contemplating the thought - what am I doing? Do I really feel called to missions? I want to tear at the thought, but my stubbornness doesn't allow for it, so I vege-out watching nonsense on my computer. And then, sleep.
I just saw this blog from desiring God and it is a good reminder of yesterday:
Yes, sleep is exactly what I needed to be rid of my frustrations, to cast aside my anxiety, and realized that at the end of the day it was God who was in control all along. While I may sin, and mess up, and be angry at myself, it is my Father who has already forgiven because of His Son, and my Creator who lays me down for rest in His hands.
So it was good and bad. I feel my justification of the bad has been sufficient, but there were also glimpses of good in the joy of Cru Plume when I arrived at her church, or the happiness I had with Allison and Anna, and the kindness of the woman on the Songtao, but the good extends further. I was exceedingly humbled in realizing that just because I'm here "on a mission trip" doesn't make me any less prone to sin, and I rejoice that as I've been asking my God to humble me, He has already begun. There is goodness, because I can see that all things work towards the good of those who love God.