Wednesday, January 2, 2013

the end.

It took every ounce in my body to push myself out of my little apartment that morning last June. Two of my teammates even had to holler for me from the elevator as I squeezed my roommates again and took in one more glimpse of 'home.' Tears formed as I walked that long, familiar route from building A-7 to the taxi at the bottom of the hill. And as soon as the taxi door closed me in, the tears steadily fell as the driver drove me one last time through my mountain city.

photo by the lovely anna molteni

As I sat on the plane waiting for take-off, I desperately texted all my student friends reminding them how much I loved them. Just to make sure they knew. As the plane carried me two hours to my next destination, the tears continued. (Even to the point where the flight attendant felt the need to bring me tissues. Bless her.) The finality of it all was too much to bear that day.

And it still is today, in January, almost six months later.

The grieving and the mourning of my "life in Asia" continues on in the depths of my heart.  I still find myself tirelessly holding onto every person, place, word, memory as tightly as I can -- desperately pleading for it to not slip away.

Tonight, as tears rolled down my face yet again, I said to myself with a somber bitterness, "I just don't want it to end." And almost immediately, Jesus responded. He whispered, "But it's only just begun."

"It's only just begun."

Indeed it has. For those sweet precious girls I humbly watched step from darkness to light, their new lives of eternal hope and joy are just beginning.

And I'm hoping and praying and begging God that He won't see an end to their new lives in Christ. That they will continue to mark each day as daughters of the Most High, ambassadors for Him in their cities, schools, work places. That they will surround themselves with edifying brothers and sisters, marry God-fearing men, and raise their children to know the Truth.

Though physically for me, things are more final. The reality is that I live in Atlanta, Georgia. The reality is I'm not a part of that community I loved in the country I made my home. The reality is I don't get to walk alongside my new sisters daily.

But there's a greater reality. The reality is that God did not leave that country when I did. He is there, He is real, and He loves my friends way more than I ever could.

I humanly see things in beginnings and endings, but God doesn't see it that way. He is a "big picture" God, always and infinitely working (John 5:17). There's no stop to what He's accomplishing here.

So thank You, Lord, that I'll never know where my two years in East Asia really "end." Because like  You said, "it's only just begun."