My departure is coming close. And the closer it gets, the more annoyances (aka. thorns of the flesh as Paul called them) keep showing up. Some are self-inflicted by my lack of trust and insecurity, but some for sure are results of the spiritual warfare going on over my decision to go on a mission for Jesus.
My car still being for sale with one week left to try to gain some funds from it and get rid of the car note; the extra stress of changing schedule at my nanny job (which had never been so crazy before and not the fault of the parents either); getting lost going to church with kids and being late; dropping and loosing things constantly; inability to sleep a full-night; having to fight off discouragement and scrapping this whole venture. All of these things are kind of small, though, and might just be normal parts of life period.
The push-back I’ve gotten from some of family is much more difficult to handle. That tension hasn’t lessened much. One of the most vocal members of my immediate family was adamantly against me leaving because she felt I was needed at home far more than Poland. I tried share my vision and assurance I had from the Holy Spirit about this, but despite her long-standing belief in Jesus, she felt like I was making a mistake and couldn’t support me. This ended with me needing to leave the room before I said something stupid, and only talking to her once I left with barely a good-bye. I knew I would have to tell her I was officially leaving once I got my plane ticket, but I kept putting it off because the last conversation went so awful.
Just last night, she was rushed to the emergency room with severe pains. A week before I’m supposed to leave. Sigh. I had planned to visit or at least call to let her know I’m actually going because I don’t have any more time to stall. The health issues are just another complication, now.
I just sense all these things and more are Satan’s way of pitching a fit that I’m doing this, and all the more assurance that I’m on the right track. Plus, James 1:2-4 is reassuring:
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
I read another verse this week–Hebrews 10:36–that started with “patient endurance.” Oh how apt for the season I’m in right now. Patient endurance. The patience to trust God’s process and timing, and the endurance to handle the obstacles and work now and work to come. Anyone that’s trained for any kind of distance race knows the beginning is tough, then you get into a stride where things feel pretty good before hitting what’s known as ‘the wall.’ One of the things I remember learning while I trained for my half-marathon years ago is to recognize the wall and be able to push past it. To keep going until you finish.
I’m feeling like I’m just hitting the first uphill in this race and it’s kicking my butt a little bit. But God’s also at my back encouraging me forward. I gotta keep going.