Stone Faced

Isaiah 50:7 Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame.

This has become my theme verse for language learning! Some days I rejoice because I was able to explain our change in plans to our “uncle” and he showed up at the new time to take us to class. I rejoice when I understand full sentences and even paragraphs! I rejoice when I can share with our teacher about how my sister is marrying Kristin’s brother and we get to go home in September for the wedding, and she laughs long and smiles big and is so happy for us.

Then there are those days. Yep, the ones where I stare blankly back at my teacher when I did not understand a word that just came out of her mouth. You are speaking the language I have been learning the last month, right? The days when I come back to our apartment and feel like my brain is going to explode and will I ever move forward? But that is when I press into my Savior and press forward. I take great comfort in the fact that He is the One who called me to this place, He is the One who created this language and created my brain with the ability to learn it.

I remember back to 2011 when I was preparing to come to western Cambodia and help with VBS. We were supposed to be helping the girls with a sewing project and also teaching them to crochet, a skill I did not yet know. I bought a book, some yarn and a hook and attempted to teach myself. I mastered the first kind of stitch we needed to learn, and I understood the concept of the second but could not for the life of me get the yarn and hook to cooperate. I took it home with me for a mini-vacation and explained it to my sister who figured it out and tried to show me. I was so frustrated because I wasn’t going to be able to help teach the girls in the village and was ready to give up. My brother was sitting there in the living room, listening to my complaining. He gave me a sports analogy which has stuck with me. “You just have to keep going until you get over the hump. Then you’ve got it. But you have to get over the hump first.” He shared how he was trying to learn how to throw a certain type of baseball pitch and it wasn’t coming. Instead of giving up (like I was about to do) he kept going, persevering. And then he got it. So, I sat on our couch and decided to keep trying! And I finally got it, after multiple stitches ripped out and re-starts.

I am determined to learn this language even though it doesn’t come naturally to me and some days, those days, I just want to give up and go home or at least speak to someone in English for awhile.

If God has called you to a task, called you to stand up for Truth and declare His Name, He will not leave you hanging. He will not let you be disgraced but you must keep pressing forward and working hard!

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