Emotional Preparations

Lately I have been in a new stage of preparing for Lebanon. It isn’t the stage I planned on being in either. Isn’t that always the way? I inform God and those around me of my plans, and then God patiently and gently guides me down the path of His plan. I do not always understand that it is a path, but here I am again on God’s path when I suddenly look up and realize that this is not the place I thought I was headed.

Of late, my plans to physically prepare by downsizing our storage unit, purging our house of unneeded items, donating clothes and such to Savers or Goodwill, and organizing important paperwork, all of those plans have fallen by the wayside. However, as I reflect on the past month not making headway on those goals, I realize that I have been continually prepared by God in my devotional time with Him, in my prayer life, and emotionally as I have taken time to process those people and events that keep me sane and motivated in my life. Driving to accountability and small group times shows me how important those are to me, and I have cried over the probable loss of them and then been hopeful in determining how to continue those relationships and accountability sessions when we leave.

Even taking Davy to the gym to fulfill our New Year’s Resolution of preparing him for daycare when we go to our training at the end of March has had some emotional processing. Davy loves going and playing with the kids after his two month break from going to the gym at all. It was relieving and also a mommy sadness to know that he might adjust well to many of the upcoming changes. Of course, the training is 8 hours a day of daycare and the gym is only one hour every few days as well.

Finally, as I recognize changes in Louis and I that were only hoped for in the past, I am amazed to see how God has been molding us into missionaries throughout our marriage (and, really, the course of our lives). My comfort in attending church, joy in devotional time and Bible Study, prayer with Davy before meals and over those sick and hurting, and peace that stays with me; all of these are a change that has been slow and steady, but are drastic compared to several years ago when we clearly heard God tell us to head toward Lebanon.

I am currently teaching a Bible Study on Sundays at Mt. Zion titled One Story. The purpose is to see how the entire Bible points to Jesus and how the entire Bible is helpful for ourselves so we can share that story with others. I felt convicted to do this class even with my continued discomfort with leading adults because God has been showing me that my reading of His word and my comfort with this idea that even the laws and the genealogies matter to me, Annie, is something others need to hear about. Preparing for this past Sunday, writing down several stories we could discuss I realized that this idea of the Cosmic Drama, the endless cycles of Sin and Redemption, were not merely Horizons International curriculum to me. I own them. I see my story in Scripture, and I want to share it with others. This was a phenomenal discovery, and overtook my feelings of inadequacy to share my own story of being the Mark 5, bleeding woman: The Woman Who Touched Jesus. I have the audacity to reach out and hug Jesus, and call him my lover. And you can, too.

It seems strange to many people to find out about my layers. I have a teacher face (as I call it) which I have cultivated over my three years of leaving terrible morning meetings crying, but having to stand up in front of my students and teach science, math, etc. I had to put on a game face (as Louis calls it). This face keeps doctors from believing that I am sick, and keeps adults from seeing my fear in speaking to groups of them. But as I rely on Jesus more and more to show His power through my weaknesses, I am filled with a peace. The same peace as the woman in Mark 5 who, healed from her shame, throws herself at Jesus’ feet and proclaims her story. I can share my fears because it is truth, and it shows how Jesus can work through me rather than relying on a mask. Others can see it is okay to share their own weaknesses because I share mine. This is something I have known in my head, practiced at times, but now feel I understand and that it will help me immensely in any future undertakings I follow God into.

In reflecting on all of this a verse jumped out at me this week:

“The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary.” Isaiah 50:4a

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2 thoughts on “Emotional Preparations

  1. Annie, I want you to know that while you might not think of yourself as a teacher of adults, or may not yet feel comfortable doing this, you have most certainly spoken to this adult. Each month when I read your comments I feel grounded and encouraged. Your insight and humility is a God given gift. Ed and I have felt a connection to you and Louis and little Davey from the first time we met at MZLC Thursday morning Bible Studies. Your words this month that while we are happily going along with what we perceive as a path of direction, sometimes we (eventually) become aware that our Almighty God has other plans. This certainly spoke to me, right here and right now in my situation with Ed’s sudden death. Thank you for your kind words, hugs and participation in Ed’s Memorial Service. This means a great deal to me…your heartfelt caring with everyone you meet even in the midst of your preparations to leave for Lebanon. I do not yet know how my finances will work out, but please know that the Lord has put you on my heart. I intend to support you in your valuable efforts for our God. God has put us in each other’s lives for a specific reason.
    And, while I do not know what the future holds, I know for a fact that He has a perfect plan. It is a very great release of burden really, that I do not have to try and work all of this out. As the God of the Universe He is infinity qualified, and I am not. We only need to trust Him. And, this is what I will do, and I know that you will do also. Thank you for your words, it is of great comfort. Esther Connors

  2. I’ll be praying for you all as you prepare for this journey. Thanks Annie for sharing your thoughts and emotions during this process. You are a great inspiration to me as well as a wonderful writer! You might need to write a book of all your travels later!

    Blessings!

    Melinda Duclos

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