Monday, April 23, 2012

Seven Months and Counting....

Life here is never very simple. Just when I get the hang of things, something happens and it throws me off  and I once again realize that I don't know anything. Anything. The last seven months have been an adventure. In my opinion, adventures aren't always all we crack them out to be. Usually when something unpleasant, uncontrollable, terrifying, and/or horribly confusing happens but we make it out the other end, we turn around and say, 'Wow! That was an adventure!' And that word sounds like so much fun that we completely forget about how unpleasant the entire experience was to begin with. 

That's my life in France. An adventure. Except for now, when unpleasant, uncontrollable, terrifying and/or horribly confusing things happen, I'm learning to laugh at it and make it sound fun before I'm out the other end.... because He always pulls me out of them. 

Yesterday I had to get from my little house south of Paris to my friend's house north of Paris. Sounds simple, right? Ha. So I looked up all the information I needed: the names of 4 different train stations to go through and the different times, etc. It should have taken an hour and a half. But then one train was late. And I didn't make it to the next fast enough. And then I couldn't find the right train at the next station. So my well-planned hour and a half journey turned into double the time, with the additional benefit of my rolley suitcase breaking so that I had to carry it everywhere I went while I wandered around tying to figure out how to get to the right place. 

Nothing goes quite as planned. No matter how well I think I'm prepared for something, there are always unexpected happenings throwing wrenches in my plan. That's just part of living in a different culture, part of life. But I'm learning.... not to sweat the little things too much, not to panic when things aren't going as I anticipated, not to freak out if I don't know where I am or which train I'm on or where the right bus stop is, not to look like I'm lost when I really am, and to trust that He always, always has my back. 

Seven months and counting and... I am sometimes surprised by how much I still feel like a stranger here, and am sometimes surprised by how natural I feel at other times. At seven months I'm still learning to let go and trust, learning that He has a plan even if mine falls through, learning that there's always more grace. I'm learning that it's a journey and a race, and that I'm not there yet. I'm learning that He'll always meet me at the next step with love and patience in His eyes. 

Oh. And I'm also learning about discipleship and church planting and evangelism this week in Dublin. Our conference starts tomorrow, and I am stoked. 

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