I have been throwing a little party this week, but not necessarily the kind you would want to join. I have hit some sort of 9 month slump in the ups and downs of cultural adjustment I think, and I have had a little mini pity party going on in my head.
You can laugh at me if you would like, tell me I have no reason to be down in the dumps and I will smile and nod, because I know it is true. I am TRUELY blessed to be here, don’t get me wrong. I love my language teachers, my daily routine, my friends at our Cambodian church, most days I even enjoy the Khmer language.
The past couple of weeks though I have been adding to a growing list of things that frustrate me. I have added up all the things I miss about America, all the comforts I used to enjoy. They are just that, comforts, things I have learned to do just fine without. Things like baking cinnamon rolls or any baked goods because our mini oven element went out and only has the ability to broil and toast. Things like carpet, wearing sweaters (I never realized how much I would miss this!), neat and orderly traffic.
If I let myself, this list could grow out of proportion, I could stay down in the dumps and decide that I will catch the next plane back to what used to be my world, the familiar.
Thankfully, I was reminded this week of a verse in 2 Corinthians 4, which my supervisor used to encourage the ministry team in western Cambodia. Here it is:
2 Corinthians 4:1: Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.
Here’s what I scribbled in my journal this week as God got ahold of my heart:
–This ministry of learning language, the ministry happening in Sompovloun, our future work in western Cambodia, is only possible through God’s mercy. It is not that we are amazing, because we definitely aren’t, or that we do things in our own strength or understanding. Our ministry is possible because we are dependent on God’s mercy. Paul talks a couple of times in 2 Corinthians 4 about not losing heart. Apparently this is a tendency for workers or all believers! As Paul says in the chapter in several ways, our weaknesses show off God’s power. It is not about us, but letting people see God’s glory, how awesome He is, because He gives us the strength that we need.–
I am thankful for God’s fresh grace and mercy, the way that He doesn’t leave us when we get distracted or focused on the wrong things. In his grace He has been helping me turn my pity party into a celebration of His gifts, how even in the crazy traffic and learning to appreciate the “new familiar” I can rejoice.
How is God showering you with fresh grace? What are some of your joys, big or small? I would love to hear about them!
***** Sidenote: even with our oven issues, Kristin managed to make delicious brownies this week. Can I just say that chocolate is a delightful gift from God?