Varieties of emotions have been coursing through my mind over the past few weeks. My time in Turkey is coming to a close and I have been counting down the days in good ways and in bad. I have seen, heard, experienced, and lived so many things while I have been here. Because of that, I fear that as a person I am so totally different than I was when I arrived. So different that I could never just go back to whatever is normal. I don’t even know what normal is anymore.
This isn’t a fear of not being able to cope or a fear of leaving…it is simply the giant question mark that seems to loom over me. I wonder what will happen the day I walk off the plane arriving in the land of the free…I’m not sure I’ll remember what to do with all that freedom. I wonder what will happen the day that I walk into Target and am totally overwhelmed by the selection. I wonder what will happen the day I walk into a church and am overcome by how vastly big and different and peculiar the church can be and just how many believers there are. I wonder what will happen when I sit down to have coffee with friends who have never lived overseas and just won’t quite understand. I wonder what will happen as I acclimate back into my own culture; Will I forget? Will I revert to how I was before? I hope not.
You see, these changes, these experiences…the things that have forever changed me; I am grateful for them. I have learned more about who I am and who I’m not than in any other season of my life. I have come across abilities and “special features” in my life that were undiscovered before now. One of my favorites has been learning that my capacity can grow as needed and that whatever I think may be too much to handle actually turns into one of my strengths. I have learned that I can take pretty much whatever is thrown at me…I’m flexible…I’m adaptable…and I’m driven. I have also experienced more brokenness than I knew was possible, but through that I have learned to not just keep in touch with God, but to fully cling…you know, arms and legs wrapped around; because if there is one lesson I have learned that is greater than them all, it is that God is my strength. He provides strength to do and to handle things that would have probably wrecked me just a year ago.
My bags are already packed and I will be living out of a suitcase, bouncing around between homes, sleeping on couches for the next few weeks…but through it all I am grateful for this experience, and even if I am not sure what comes next, I know that I am better because of what has come and gone so quickly. I have a few things I’m praying about concerning what comes next and I’m not going to share any of them yet, but I would ask that if you’re reading this, you would pray with me.
I know God knows what is next and I have so much peace in moving forward. In my short amount of so-far lived experience, I am finding that the less we have an agenda, the more God will use us. He wants us to be lost in Him and submit our lives to him. By doing this, His plans and agenda will go forward in our lives. I am learning to give up all intention and planning for the sake of letting God plan my life away.
He knows far better what can be done with a life like mine. The things we desire for our lives are often times cheap and have little worth, but when we find purpose in Christ’s ultimate plan, we find that our lives can go far beyond ourselves; that our lives were meant to be lived for more than ourselves. So I guess my fear is knowing that now that I understand this, there is no going back. I no longer have an excuse to just do whatever I want, whenever I want. I am forever changed, and I can’t wait to see what is next.
Much Love, Marissa