Ups, Downs, and All Around
June 8, 2016
For the most part, life is going well. Rusty and I are slowly but surely making new friends and connecting with our neighbors. We're establishing our life here and it is encouraging to see how far we've come. But some days are still hard.
Working from home is nice. It provides a lot of flexibility and allows me to do things that I wouldn't be able to do with a 9-5 job in an office. It allows me to be creative and move about a lot. But some days it's hard. It gets lonely sometimes. I miss being around people and brainstorming with them. At times I love it. Others I feel lost and insecure. Some days I am thrilled we live in Miami, some I question why we ever came here. I wrestle with God. I cry...a lot. I laugh with Rusty. And some days my heart aches so badly I feel it's going to blow out of my chest. I enjoy the sunshine and some days I am exhausted by the humidity. I rejoice over small victories and some days I get discouraged because of the lack of big ones. I will walk out the doors confidently one day and the next feeling defeated. I will love one moment and hate the next. A good day can end in tears and a bad one can end in laughter. But honestly, most days I don't know what they will hold. Some times thinking positively can be enough and somedays it can't budge my thoughts. I used to think I was strong and tough. Now I realize how weak and helpless I am. It's hard.
Before we moved I thought moving far away would be awesome. Some of the sacrifices would be challenging, but it was going to be so awesome that I wouldn't be bothered by what we left. I thought moving to a new cool, urban, diverse city would be so fun and not super challenging. But then you do it. I had my reservations, but man I didn't really realize what we were giving up. I knew it would be hard to be away from my family, but I didn't know how much it would hurt to miss out on life's big events. I didn't know moving so far away would mean we could only make it back for family weddings or one major holiday. I didn't realize it meant I could only see my family about once a year. I didn't know I was going to miss my grandma's funeral. I didn't know it would be so hard to see my sister's kids grow up so quickly and miss so much of it. I didn't know I'd miss my parents hugs so much or just crying on their shoulders. I didn't know I would miss sitting in the living room with my roomies talking about life, boys, faith, and weird girl things. I didn't expect it to be so hard to be away for my sister-in-laws engagement. I didn't know I was going to give up job security. I didn't know how much my tears would hurt my husband. I didn't know that a season of waiting was coming and perseverance was going to be so necessary. Man, I had no idea.
As a kid, I saw these people do great things, move to unchurched places and give up the comforts of home. I thought because they were "called" to go it must be easy and exciting. Little did I know that just because you are "called" doesn't make it easy, in fact it's so stinking hard that so few people actually want to do it and stick with it. If I'm being honest, there are days I straight up want to throw in the towel and give up. I want to walk away and do something else. I want to say, I'm going to move closer to family, I'm going to stay closer with old friends and I'm gonna leave this hard life for something easier. But then the Lord always stops me and reminds me, Jo, you know if you go back, it's not going to be any easier. You'll live in awareness that you are being disobedient and no matter how much more "comfortable" life may be you will not be satisfied and you're heart will hurt in much deeper ways.
I just want to say SHUT UP!
Why? Because I know it's true, I just don't want it to be.
Rusty will ask me if I want to move back to Arkansas and I always respond No. Why? Because I know I would be living in disobedience and that would be harder than life right here and now.
So yes, I miss my family. I miss my friends. I miss the comforts of being in a familiar place, with people that know me and life that seems "easy". But I have to say though it is so FREAKING HARD to be here doing what we are doing and giving up what we have, I would not walk away. I will rejoice in the small victories and cry when I must. I will pray fervently and trust that God is sovereign.
All of this to say, I humbly ask for prayer. I realize more each day of how much we need help. We a Savior and we need prayer. There are days I want to give up. I believe there are days Rusty does too, but pray we will not. Pray we will be obedient and pray we will lean on the Lord. This world has nothing to offer, but God has everything. Pray we don't forget that. Pray our love for the Lord will pass all understanding and pray we show that to the people we encounter. This mission is challenging, but I believe it is what God has called us to. Pray for encouragement and strength to face the day. Pray we rejoice in the small things. Pray we don't loose site of our purpose. And pray for our families; they have sacrificed a lot for us to be here in Miami as well.
We will pray for you: pray for strength through the good and the bad, pray for love for Him and others, pray for obedience and grace.
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you face trials of various kinds, for you know the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4
"I have said these things to you, that in me you may peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." John 16:33