I want to say it’s been a hard season. But sometimes I’m not sure if the hard season ever ends; perhaps this is just what we chose & what God had for us in living here and learning community here.
Recently it has felt like each day holds a new wave of challenges or pain or hurt–sometimes just stressful water woes and sometimes rooted, broken situations. New waves of tears usually come with it, and sometimes new waves of questions. We are trying to do marriage and live in a foreign culture and still learn more languages, while we wipe up blood and tears and try to bring hope to the brokenness around us.
To say it’s messy seems the understatement of the year.
I have been asking questions lately of what we are doing and why we are here. We have had “failures” recently–kids we felt we couldn’t help, situations we couldn’t change, tears that just had to be cried while prayers were said because our hands were tied. And then we have the “successes”–good conversations, encouraging words, and a chance to care for someone–Daw Ma Oo telling me that flowers really helped their family this week because they were out of a money, or little two-year-old that can say “Stephen” and runs to his arms for a hug.
But sometimes I begin to wonder if the successes outweigh the losses. I turn questions over in head and struggle to trust that God is good, that He is here and meeting with all of us. He is in our home and our dreams and our hopes and our fears. I struggle to trust that He is answering prayers that we feel go unanswered for days and weeks and months and years.
I believe, but, oh Lord, help my unbelief.
Today I read a blog that Kelvin wrote while we were away in Bangkok for my birthday. It made me cry, because it gave me fresh eyes. He said that he sees them caring for us, just as we have cared for them.
Sometimes I lose sight of both: that we do care for them. Sometimes I wonder if I do nothing or that what I do does nothing. But God has given us ways and open doors to care and love our neighbors, every day in fact!
I also forget that they do care for us and look out for us, and it is really beautiful. The neighbors cleaned up our yard and took care of all the wood they had been storing there; it looks much nicer, cleaner, and more welcoming!
And Pyo Pyo has brought us three meals this week. She has recently realized that I am a vegetarian, so she has brought us Burmese salad, a tofu dish, and noodles–all without meat in it. This is epic, after being served meal after meal of meat and sometimes receiving a bag of fresh, bloody meat. It really means so much to me to see her know this. Or at the tea shop, I’ll order in Burmese, and then someone will specify that I don’t eat meat and to put the peppers on the side. They are really working hard to care for us.
We have invested, and God is bringing a return. I have to believe this. I have to hope for this! And sometimes he sends a reminder, on days when I just can’t see it because my doubts blind me.