That being said, since there are people that read this, I feel pressured to keep it up to date a little better! I realized that it has been a couple weeks since my last post! The thing is, not much has changed since then. The whole "wait" thing is still happening, and the "rest" thing is still being said to me daily. However, I actually feel like some of it is starting to sink in!
I read this quote from Madame Guyon the other day, and it was the beginning of a deeper understanding for me."Rest. Rest. Rest in God's love. The only work you are required to do now is to give your most intense attention to his still, small voice within."
When we were in Malawi the first few months, I was lonelier than I have ever been in my life. Yet I experienced God in ways that I never had before. We had no friends, no transportation, didn't speak the language, did not understand the culture, were all alone as far as our mission went, had nothing of physical comfort since the shipping container was not being sent, and I was bored out of my mind. Yep, that's right...I dreamed of wild African adventures and exotic animals, and crazy miracles happening. And those things did happen - we had plenty of those in the time we were there. But those first two months I felt so alone and terrified and uncertain - and bored! (I remember once saying to Shawn, "No one told me Africa would be boring! Dangerous, yes. Wild, of course...but boring???")
Then a wise friend told me to use that time to call out to God in ways that I never had the ability and time to do before. So I did. And the Psalms became alive to me - as if written especially for me in that moment. Scripture popped out at me with people's names, and I passed on words that were given to me. I hungered and thirsted after it, and spent hours and hours on the veranda with tea, sunshine, a journal, my bible, and a cell phone (in case my mom texted me!) And I waited. And rested. Yes, I got frustrated over shipping container woes, work permits, landlords that ripped off the white people, etc. I was attacked physically as our bodies adjusted to foreign life and malaria settled in once. But through all that I learned to wait-I really had no choice! I could not manipulate the system or God. I had no resources of my own. I could only rest and wait for him to answer and make things clear as he saw fit. And it was a sweet, amazing time in my walk with him.
This time as the same wise friend gently said "Wait on him in abandonment, and rest" I wanted to throw something. It was one thing to do in Africa at that time (life did get much busier there and there were not often times of being bored) -but here? I home school 4 kids, I am a pastor's wife. We have a church plant. I play in the worship band. Life hasn't stopped for me as completely as it did in Malawi for that time.
God is teaching me a new wait and rest in him. This one does not need life to stop around me, but it is a deeper form of resting. One that Brother Lawrence talked about when he said, "The time of busyness does not for me differ from the times of prayer and rest; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament."
In the noise and clatter of my household with four children who need to be taught, fed, loved on, and brought up; in the craziness of a church plant filled with energetic students and people needing to be given God's word; in the snowy weather with grumpiness in my heart; in the uncertainty of our future with people all around us talking and giving advice and opinions...in these times are the times I am learning to rest and wait.
I do not have it down...in fact, I do not even understand much of it! But I am excited to be a part of this learning process, no matter how painful it can be at times. I remember the sweetness and closeness that came out of the last time I surrendered like this - and I long to experience that even deeper and more real.
So now I rest.