You may or may not have noticed that in recent years that my blogs have been less about our journey and struggles here and more about the people we get to serve. This is mostly because I am so very proud of those I get to work alongside and I so want you to fall in love with the beautiful people of this country. Another reason though was that I received some flak for my openness to my struggles living overseas. Because of that I have guarded my words a bit more as well as my struggles. I am not sure this was such a good thing though. We all have struggles, regardless of where we live. What matters more is our reaction to our situations and to those around us. In light of that, I’d like to share a struggle in my life that I think many of you may face as well.
Please understand this though: I love the people I work with. I love my friends. I love my students. I love this country. But there are times living overseas… well, I suppose, living anywhere… that life takes it’s toll and it feels lonely. I feel alone. Overwhelmed. Unproductive. It is in those times that God uses my precious students to help me realize this is a lie from Satan meant to derail me. A sweet 11th grader telling me the mural she spent days painting is a gift for me. The quirky boy who pops his head up in the window just to say hi (even though he should be paying attention.) The young man wanting to do a bible study at lunch and grow in his faith. The chubby-faced kindergartener who yells my name when she sees me regardless of what she is supposed to be doing. The group of boys who spent 30 minutes moving book shelves just because I asked for their help. The young lady who readily takes over my class when I get called out. The group of girls who fought over who got to play with my hair. These little things might seem insignificant but added up, they are a reminder of God’s love but also of the love of those I get to serve with each day. I know life gets hard. It does for all of us and it’s easy to overlook the little reminders God has placed in our lives. But how blessed we are to serve a God who knows our feelings and responds to them. One last thought: perhaps if we were a bit more open about our struggles then we would realize we are not alone in this.