It's taken me a while to figure out what I wanted to write about next. I've found through the process of blogging that I don't want to use it to talk about my daily life, although I do plan to give a run down of a typical "day in the life." Instead, I want to use the blog as a journal or record of the things God is teaching me through this process. To me, this seems like the most fruitful way to use the blog.
There's been so much going on in me lately, and while I say "so much," it's been difficult to put everything into words. My beau asked me the other night what God has been speaking to me, and I had to pause and think. I had to think because I feel as though there's something so deep that is being revealed to me and I can only see the tip of it. However, I'll do my best to explain what I have been able to put my finger on.
During the Fall, we had an influx of youth from a local orphanage to our Day Center for dental care. These youth, while the same age of many of the others we serve, are even more so developmentally, socially, "you name it" delayed. It's been a real blessing to see what it's like for new youth to experience God's presence at the Day Center. However, at the same time it's been uncomfortable. This feeling of uncomfortableness has done nothing but grow since I've started to get to know these orphans a little better. I didn't even know what the uncomfortableness was connected to. This was such a surprise to me. I mean, I have a heart for this ministry...that's why I'm here. But now there's an uncomfortableness.
I took this to the Lord in prayer and asked Him what was going on. I didn't receive an answer right away, but instead experienced something else strange.
One night, I went to the grocery store like I always do. I usually wait until the last minute when I'm out of everything, so I have no choice but to go to the store (it's not really my favorite thing in the world to do.) I was halfway through my shopping experience, when I noticed everyone's eyes on my cart. This wouldn't be unusual, as it's normal in Romania for people to stare. But, this was different. This time it made me feel uncomfortable in a different way. I knew that they weren't looking at me, but instead HOW MUCH and WHAT I was able to purchase. Even as a missionary, living off the least that I possibly can each month, my salary is three times more than the average Romanian wage. People here cannot feed their families the basic things needed for nutrition. Instead, they live off of bread and potatoes. At that moment in the store, my heart was pierced for the Romanian people. I had always known in my head that Americans have so much more, and I had so much more, but at this moment, it hit my heart. I wanted to leave the store immediately. I didn't want to feel the way I was feeling. After all, it was so uncomfortable.
After reflecting on both of these situations, and asking the Lord what is happening, I felt the Holy Spirit impress on my heart that these feelings of uncomfortableness aren't bad. In fact, there exactly what the Lord wants me to feel. For all of us that follow Jesus, we have a responsibility to the same. We SHOULD be uncomfortable. After all, Jesus said whoever wants to gain his life, will lose it...that we should leave our father and mother, take up our cross, and follow him. That can't be comfortable.
So what do I make of the new feelings? What do I do with them? I press in. I continue to take them to the Lord, and I don't shut them out. If I want to know Jesus...if I want to know the Father...if I want to be led by the Holy Spirit, I have to allow God to take me to the tough places. I have to let Him change me in the ways that HE sees fit, and not what makes me most comfortable.
You see, it's uncomfortable to feel the grief and extreme love of God. I know that I haven't even come close to feeling what He feels, but instead I have been given just a glimpse. However, I'm not to shy away from it, I'm to continue to press in. I MUST let the youth from the orphanage into my heart. I MUST let the dire situation of Romania into my heart...HOW ELSE WILL GOD CHANGE ME? How else will they know of God's great love for them if I don't experience it and show it to them? This must be the road that I take, for I don't desire to be the same. But with that desire is an understanding that God will take me to the difficult places, and continue to bare His heart in mine...however uncomfortable that may be.