I am missing that guy with the guitar getting ready to fly really far away from me!
I had to say a sad goodbye to my husband this month at the airport as he went back to Zambia to begin his new semester in Theology school, and I had to stay behind in the U.S. to finish up some training for my work at the end of the month. It sounds just fine in theory of course, very practical in fact, but I had no idea how hard it was going to be to live oceans and time zones apart from the one who I have spent the past year and 3 months forming a life with in Zambia and beyond. Saying goodbye at the airport was just one part of the process, and we were that cheesy couple with the teary goodbye that texted and looked at each other his whole way through the security line at the airport.
I thought I had the easy job, I got to stay in America, busy with tasks after a month off of work and comfortably at home with my parents not to mention 24 hours of internet and electricity, can you say this is the life or what? I had this pretty picture in my head of what this month would look like, but then my emotions go the best of me, I have been an emotional wreck to say the least. The minute I didn’t hear from Drew when I had expected to, I freaked out, imagined the worst, and began to get in contact with anyone I knew who could help locate him.
Turns out he was just fine and the airport had lost internet and he needed to load up his phone with talk time (sometimes quite a process after being out of the country) so that he could finally message me. This has happened in different ways and varying degrees throughout the last couple of weeks and we are not even half way through this time apart! Who knew I could worry so much and then my mom says, “Just wait until you have kids to worry about!”
Just like moms always are, she’s right. The worries of life never seem to slow down, there’s something to worry about in this season that seems like it will mean the world until we experience the worry of the next and we can’t imagine ever getting worked up about anything else. Change is a constant in our lives and thus transition is something we have to face over and over again. In the midst of getting worked up over this month of my life being much different than I pictured, sitting here in the limbo of being away from my husband and my new home, I found these words in Isaiah meaningful as they reminded me to step out of my situation and open my eyes to the opportunities around me.
“…Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
Feed the hungry,
And help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
And the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
The Lord will guide you continually,
Giving you water when you are dry
And restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
Like an ever-flowing spring”
These words from God to his people Israel spoke deeply to my heart this week. Here it seems like God is trying to tell his people that there is more to life than the things they may be concerned with in their own little world. Look around, there are people suffering from oppression and hunger, stop being consumed and do what I have called you to do and I will satisfy you.
To me He was saying, stop worrying about your husband; I will take care of him. I have work for you right where you are, care for your family, speak truth to your friends, do your work with excellence, I will give you all that you need.
All my time worrying felt wasted. It consumed my thoughts and emotions and distracted me from the tasks God has for me here. It was a time of darkness, and God was calling me out of it into His glorious light. Have you ever been so consumed with a worry or even something good like a goal or a pursuit that you forgot the other important things God has called you to?
It’s so easy for me to live a distracted life. But God is calling me to lift up my eyes. I must care for the broken hearted and look for opportunities to set captives free. In my situation, that means caring for my husband when we can talk instead of worrying when we can’t. It means being honest and present with my friends here so we can open up to one another and experience healing while we have these precious moments in the same time zone. It means valuing the ones I am with instead of wishing I am with the ones that are away. God knows the worries of our hearts, and has uniquely placed each one of us to be instruments of life despite what is going on behind the scenes.
Join me this week, in seeing beyond the distractions to the areas of life Christ has called us to. Each season will have its worries and sorrows, but alongside them are opportunities to help others overcome theirs. God has created us for something so much bigger than ourselves. May we open our eyes to the places he has called us, Lord bring about Your light in the midst of our darkness.