My mind has been contemplating quite a bit. I still find myself in this weird place of adjustment. There seems to be many facets, and they catch me by surprise. Warning: this post starts off a little whiney...but it ends well!
First, it is the first time in 3 years since I experienced fall...which also happens to be my favorite season. There has been a serious adjustment however, with the weather changing and with it getting dark so early and staying dark well into morning. For two years of my life the sun was up by 6am which made it much easier for this non-morning person to get out of bed. But the leaves...oh my! They are not disappointing and we have such a creative God!
I am also experiencing "cold season" for the first time as well...and it isn't being very nice to me. About a week and a half ago I stopped everything as I was feeling the beginnings of an old familiar routine (a cold leading to a sinus infection.) It worked. Within a few days I felt awesome. Fast forward to today...or last night. At life group I started coughing a little, by morning my back and chest are sore, and I coughed/choked through some of the day. It comes and goes and I wonder if my missing out on "the cold season" the last few years is going to mean I am doomed this year. I sure hope not.
There are highs and there are lows. The last few months have been a series of lows. I was warned this would happen, and I saw it creeping up on me, but I ignored it, mostly because I kept finding other things that needed to be worked on and, to be honest, it is hard to admit that I was wrestling with depression, I mean, I have SO much to be thankful for. SO MUCH! A few weeks ago I was humbly challenged by a friend of mine to recognize my heart. I talked to my another friend and started counseling a week later. It's time to work on my own heart and the hurts and joys of the two life-changing years in Tanzania, and the last 6 months of returning. The hard part of putting this out there is that I don't quite know how to put it into words, and I don't want undue concern to be caused. But I am human, I have a heart, I was created with emotions, and lately they seem to be overwhelming grief. I don't doubt that I am where I am supposed to be, I love my new role and ministry, I am still just grieving some of the last 2 1/2 years (yes, I not only grieve the 2 years in Tanzania, but there are some moments of grieving from coming back.)
Moses and the Israelites wandered through the desert after the exodus from Egypt. I feel as if I have been wandering through a desert. But awesome and amazing things happen in the desert, and like the Israelites, I sometimes need to be reminded. Lately I have been studying about the Exodus, and I love what I am reading. God always had a plan. God was always faithful providing all that the Israelites needed. God fought for his people. God encouraged them and reminded them of where He brought them from. And while I am learning all of this I am reminded...that He has a plan, that He is faithful and meets my every need. He fights for me, encourages me and reminds me regularly of other difficult life situations He has brought me through. I am seeing new things in myself, and I am learning a ton and I will say, that walking in the desert causes me to place myself nearer and nearer to the Lord and trust in His leading.
I have continually found comfort in the following words:
The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14
The desert is a lonely and uncomfortable place, however, I am pretty sure that if I wasn't in this place, I wouldn't be looking for all those reminders, and I wouldn't see the many ways the Lord fights for me. I just need to continue being still.