trusting . resting . following


October 24, 2013
When life is busy and things are going well, it's fun to write blogs and post pictures.  But when the struggles come, so does the silence.  I come up blank on what to write, and so I write nothing at all.  I don't want this blog to become my forum for complaining and venting, so instead I just keep quiet.  This silence is not just the blog though, I also find myself avoiding skype and becoming negligent with emails.  Even writing prayer letters becomes a huge undertaking.

It's hard for me to be honest about my struggles.  I don't know why, but that's the way it is.  I'd rather just talk about the good times, the victories and the thrills of this life.  But when I'm down in the valley, when joy is no longer an emotion but a choice (a choice that I often fail to make); tell me, what do I write about?

The past month or so I've been soaking up the Psalms.  I love it that David and the other psalmists are not silent in their struggles; rather they are bluntly honest.  Honest about their doubts and fears and even anger.  But then almost every Psalm ends with a confident declaration... I will trust in the Lord, I will hope in my God.

So, in a feeble attempt to be honest and vulnerable, here it is: I'm struggling.  The culture has become overwhelming.  My neighbor next door is building and the constant hammering is driving me nuts.  The neighborhood bars play their music till late at night, then every morning starting at 5am the nearby Bible college has morning chapel.  Driving to the village I feel like everyone is staring at me as if they've never seen a white girl drive a car, and does anyone know how to drive in this country?

I could go on, but you get the idea.  I hate feeling this way.  I'm fighting my thoughts all the time, trying to bring them under captivity to the obedience of Christ.  A friend and I took a few days off this week, which helped some.  Furlough is coming up (I'll be home for Christmas), and honestly... I'm really trying not to start counting down the days.

Side note: The funny thing about culture stress is that after a few months in the states, I will have forgotten all the negatives of Africa in my frustrations with the negatives of America.  Right now I'm desperate to leave Africa, but in 4(ish) months I'll be desperate to leave America and get back to my African home.  Yes, let's all just admit it: missionaries and expats are messed up people.

In all of this, Lord, I choose to rejoice.  I know that You are near, and that You never allow trials without also providing the grace I need to go through them.  Help me to remember Whom I am serving.  May Your love shine through me.  Thank you that I am never alone.

7 comments on "Silence"
  1. Thank you for sharing your heart about this. I know that you & I have different struggles in life, but I tend to do the same things. I become quite and standoffish. Its not that I don't want others to help but I get so overwhelmed by struggles sometimes, I tend to just stay away. Praying for you Lisa! I am glad that you are able to come home. I know I don't really know you, but I know most people need to just come "home" to get rested up and energized to go back. I hope and pray things go well for you. Maybe one day I can come visit! Who :)

  2. It is good to hear the struggles so that we can pray for you, and hold up your arms a bit longer. Have you ever read the children's book "Grandfather's Journey" by Allen Say? Some of what you said here reminds me of that story :)

  3. oh my. don't underestimate what constant hammering can do to the psyche!! Seriously. our three months in Isamilo were the noisiest of my life and I never knew how much that would affect me. I'm praying for you. Honesty is good--we didn't ask to be on any pedestal anyways!!! :) Just broken people, serving broken people. I love you!! You are strong in HIM, not your own strength. He uses us when we are weak and don't see any impact. Maybe that's when he uses us most! LOVE YOU

  4. Lisa,
    Love and hugs to you! I hear your heart.
    You are wise to go to Psalms - I was thinking about that recently that no matter how the Psalm starts, it ends with praising God for Who He is, His character which is unchanging, and His righteous judgment, which usually isn't in our timing.
    I will be praying for you more fervently. May your heart be encouraged by God's Word, by seeing with fresh eyes, and by praying for others as God brings them to mind.

  5. PRAYING FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Thank you for being vulnerable! It's an encouragement to us all...praying for you, Lisa!

  7. Thanks dear friends for your kind words. Becky, you are so right. Broken people serving broken people. In my weakness He is strong.