so we have a lot of life to catch up on! this past 6 weeks has been some of the most busy times we've had here! and we are so so thankful for all of the wonderful people who made those days busy.
we had a group of friends, led my dear friend joy and her family, come to surabaya for a month. they came to love and encourage us, to learn more about indonesia and the wonderful people that live here, they served at a few local churches in the area and they had many opportunities to love and pray for people here in our city. they loved surabaya and it brought joy to our hearts to see.
i will get to all of the fun stuff we did with them and how fun it was for our kids to have great friends and role models in these awesome individuals… but for now i'm going to share a bit of how my heart has been changed by their coming.
|evidence of our friends influence on luke… forearm tattoos.|
if we're honest this has been a super difficult 6 months for us. we've been hanging in there, but feeling very alone and worn out. i have never wanted to go back to america, or at least not longer than 2 hours :) but i have desperately wanted a friend who i can walk along side, who i am understood by and who encourages me as i walk with Jesus here. i have had many conversations with God about this and have felt Him say "i am your friend" over and over again. it's hard for me to get into my head… i can't see Him with my eyes, we don't chat as i cook dinner or change a doll's outfit, i don't laugh as we make eye contact about something funny we both notice. but, i want to know friendship with God. i want to know His nearness as i clean my house, break up a sibling fight or walk around my neighborhood. i feel like i'm on the brink. i'm so thankful that God has brought me to this place (physically and spiritually) so that i can know Him more deeply… and i expect Him to be faithful in the process, as He always is.
the other thing that i felt like God has consistently spoken to me is "i have brought you here to love you." i don't dwell in these thoughts/state, but if i think about it i can feel forgotten, alone and unknown here. our world is so different and so hard to imagine for people…. i'm not blaming anyone at all, i actually don't know most of my friends' "worlds" because so much has changed in the 3 years since we left. but i think this was really highlighted as i was with joy and tasted truly being known by her. but God said "i have brought you here to love you" and the love of God is enough for me (and when it doesn't feel like enough, i will wrestle in the Truth of scripture until i believe it in my heart). i know that God is faithful, i know that when Jesus ascended to heaven He didn't leave His people as orphans, He sent the Holy Spirit… and i have the honor of living in the presence of the Holy Spirit. i am not alone. and God did bring me here to love me. i may have never known the love of God like i'm starting to understand it if i stayed in america. i'm thankful He has taken us on a journey to know Him more. God can teach us whatever He wants, wherever He wants… but my journey is that He brought me out of my "normal" to show me He is enough, He is loving, He is my friend that is always with me.
these are things that God began showing me right before the group came. when they came, we had the opportunity to be in extended times of worship and prayer with them… it felt like 'home' to me. i was so comforted and glad to be worshipping with people of like heart. i feel almost like God let joy come for a few weeks as a representation of Himself… i had a friend, my world was seen and someone could begin to understand my life here. it was God's kindness to send joy at that time, and i took it as that. and, as she has left, i have missed her… but i haven't felt left. i've felt the nearness of God, my friend. i've been thankful and blessed that i have the privilege of living this life with God in indonesia.
joy has been a dear friend and someone who has spoken into my life at every season and turn. it was a LOT of sacrifice for her and travis to bring their four kids and pregnant self here to love us. i could not be more thankful for the many conversations i had with her and the way they got into our world. they are a role model family for us… it was so refreshing and personally challenging for me to see someone who i respect as a mom in my season of life.
i'm so thankful for the way that God is revealing Himself to me, for the way He's encouraging me and for the way He used our dear friends to meet our real needs. God is faithful. i will forever speak that His goodness is reality despite our experiences, that His intent is to love His people and that He is so gracious to us. i'm so thankful that i serve a God who is kind.
more of the fun times with our friends soon…