Faith Doesn't Grow on Normal Street

Journal entry January 9, 2018

What if I were to tell you that the most beautiful experiences I have ever felt were after I let go of things that I thought that I needed.

What if I were to also tell you that the most difficult and painful challenges I have ever faced were during these beautiful experiences.

My life before I left California was normal (besides the times when my husband was sick). I had a great career, then left my career to have a baby. I lived near my parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts and childhood friends and colleagues. I had no need to make new friends or to introduce myself to a passerby. We owned a 3 bedroom house, stuffed with earthly treasures, and 2 cars to drive wherever and whenever we wanted. My husband sat in his comfortable, 9-5 office job that gave generous bonuses around Christmastime and a handsome benefits package.

This was normal. This was comfortable.

We find ourselves 2 years later here, 3,000 far miles away from all those that I know and love, a simple mobile home roof covers over our heads from tonight's rain that pours down and will later turn to snow, the constant but simple working of our hands to support our family for each day.

It sounds romantic in pictures and on paper: a simple life, a simple home, all the promises of a fresh new start and the keepings of only the things you need to start over.

This uncharted territory was what we signed up for right? Can I tell you, IT IS HARD. It is hard to start over from scratch. There are days when I wake up and look around and I want to shout, "Life was so easy before I took up your cross, save me from this!" I shutter at my own wretched thoughts.

I read this quote from John Henry Newman, "To take up the cross of Christ is no great action done once for all; it consists in the continual practice of small duties which are distasteful to us."

On those days when I am overcome with grief and the pain from missing my family translates into physical outward cries, when I am frustrated because we only have one vehicle, when the house is cold and won't heat up past 60 degrees, and when our hands become tired from daily toil, I am encouraged by 2 Corinthians 4: 16-18,

Therefore we do not lose heart.Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

I didn't leave California to go on this awesome adventure, (although sometimes I do refer to it as that.) I didn't leave California to be recognized as noble. I didn't leave California to live out this romantic idea of throwing caution to the wind.

I prayed that God would lead my husband to lead our family. I prayed that God would pursue our hearts to love Him more. I promised to take up the cross and follow Christ. No matter where He lead me. 

I asked God to change my heart and this is what it looks like. This is the unseen that 2 Corinthians was talking about!

I couldn't grow on normal street. God knows that I need to be pinched and pressed daily by these hard circumstances to expose the every drop of my inward sinful self. Through this pressing, he draws me closer to himself and gives me a deeper understanding of his will for me.

God wants me to be more intentional with my time. He desires me to read his word daily. It pleases the Lord when I have emptied myself and begin to fill my life, my time, my thoughts of Him.

THIS is what he brought us 3,000 miles away to do.

It's hard to grow faith inside your comfort zone.