Wednesday, June 28, 2017

In Quietness & Confidence Shall Be Your Strength

It's remarkable to think that I have been living in Illinois for three months now.  In some ways, it seems so much longer than that, especially considering that during the month prior to "the great move," I was living in Denver for a few weeks during flight attendant school. So in a sense, it's been 4 months since I lived in our grey home on Arbor Drive.

Along with the rush & excitement of moving to a new city & a new part of the country, soon followed with an overwhelming sense of loneliness and homesickness. I found these feelings to be unsettling & surprising, as I've always been the adventure-loving one of the family, always eager and ready to go and do and see. I've been to 9 countries, and was gone for a month at a time on some of those international trips. I lived in Texas for 9 months over 2009 & 2010, and I lived with other families in Northern Colorado for a year's time in 2012 & 2013. So what's up with all these feelings of homesickness?
  • This time, there is no "coming home" to look forward to. This is home.
  • There is no unpacking of a suitcase. Only re-packing for another trip.
  • There is no one to come home to, to talk to, to cry to and find consolation in when LIFE or a multitude of thoughts seem to swallow me up.
  • As much as I try to overlook it, the mold on the bathroom ceiling & the newspaper covering the windows of my apartment rental make me shudder sometimes. "This is all you can afford right now, Leah," I remind myself.
  • My hair frizzes like it's never done before (from the humidity) and my skin has freaked out  going dry - to super oily - back to dry, as it tries to figure out how to adjust to humidity and midwest weather. (Ah, girl problems.) ;-)
  • I can no longer jump into the car on a whim, and head to the nearest Target for a shopping spree. I have to ride the city train or walk everywhere I need to go. (And need to consider my new/broke flight attendant budget.) ;-)
So many changes.

Along with the changes and the new job, I have found it difficult to find a church home yet. Because I haven't been able to find a church home yet, I haven't been able to make any new friendships with other Christian believers, and this, I think, adds to the loneliness.

With the free time that I have, I haven't been reading the Word or encouraging books like I ought to be doing... so, no wonder I've felt 'high & dry' lately. Just in the last week, I've been reminded of my great need, and how I must cry out to my Savior for His sufficiency in my weakness. As with any relationship, to develop a sweeter, closer relationship with Jesus requires intentionality. Oh yes, it's all HIS work in me, and it is HE who hold on to me till the very end, but I can't grow closer to Jesus if I feed off of those things which discourage me or draw my heart & it's affections away from Christ. I am asking Him for a heart that RETURNS to Him, and follows Him... regardless of the cost (loneliness, unwanted singleness, being laughed at, having shattered hopes & dreams, experiencing poverty, etc.) Jesus said if we would follow Him, we must take up our cross... and the cross always entails loss. "For me to live is CHRIST, and to die is GAIN." I live through His life, and gain more of Him by dying to Leah's selfish ambitions and agenda.

So in the seemingly dark or foggy times, I am learning to live by faithnot by my ever wavering emotions. This crazy life of faith is not for the faint of heart, and often times doesn't make sense logically. And yet, even still Christ calls me onward to battle. By grace alone.

The Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "Only in returning to Me and resting in Me will you be saved. 

In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you were unwilling." —Isa. 30:15