There is a strange expectancy in my mind these days. An expectation to have arrived already. I mean, I graduated and became a nurse a year ago. I’ve been living in this place with these people for 8 months now. Surely I would have something figured out? Surely I should feel more confident about this whole being a bush nurse in a third-world country? But I think these are just lies fed to all of us in different ways… making each of us feel incompetent or discontent in the place where life has us currently. Because I have grown a lot from a year ago. I’m a different Amanda from the one who threw that black cap in the air in May and looked with bright eyes to the adventure ahead. I’m living the adventure. So why am I tempted to become discouraged and hold my life to measure by someone else’s accomplishments? We each have our own unique journey. God is teaching me, in this season on my journey, to find joy in the small steps. My mind is busy with many things I need to do to improve, to work harder, to be more or better… and I hear Him whisper softly: Rest in me. Walk in peace. Listen. See.
Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God with thanksgiving. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
I am learning how to walk in peace. This verse has popped up during every season of my life in a different way, and I think this time God is teaching me about thanksgiving. The key to finding peace is thanksgiving. If you are thankful for where you are, right this moment, even in the middle of the confusion and chaos and busyness and hurry and worry… if you take a minute to remember what you do have to be thankful for, it leads you to remember who your God is. He is the one who can do abundantly more than you can ask or imagine. With that, comes peace. The faithful, unchanging, compassionate Savior… He is more than able to help you walk through this season. Peace.
So I’m finding reasons to be thankful, and I want to list a few here, so you can see the faithfulness of our Jesus. And I want you to know, no matter what corner of the world you find yourself in, you can have peace also. I’m still learning how to let it fill and overflow my life and my days, but Jesus wasn’t joking when He said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). I think choosing to live in the peace we’re given is a daily choice, and the thing that helps us do this is seeing life through thankful eyes.
I am thankful for:
-Nachap- her quick smile and how she always has a song on her lips as she goes about her work
-that I know and can tell the story of Mary and Martha in Ngakaramojong
-rain on a tin roof
-a team to do life alongside
-the promise of peace that we have as children of God
-a day in the garden, seeing the crops grow and pulling weeds that threaten to choke out the new life
-praying with patients at the clinic
-the ability to give medicine and alleviate suffering for so many
-seeing the nationals learn bible stories and joyfully practice them and then share them with others
-harvesting squash and kale and herbs from our garden and using them to make dinner
-seeing the women jump and dance for joy at bible study
-…and lots more things but I’m trying to keep this post short so I’ll end here for now 🙂
I don’t have it all figured out. I think that “arriving” is somewhat of a perfectionist illusion that traps us into feeling discontent with the slow and steady progress we are making. So whatever season life has you in, I hope you find peace. I hope you take time to see the joyful things and praise God for them. Please do take time to feel the hurt and heartache and let it grow you. Let the rivers of tears carve out new pathways for grace to run wild in your heart. Let this season be all that it needs to be for you. You’re only human; you don’t have to figure it all out. Take that burden off your shoulders and put it where it belongs- on the shoulders of Jesus.
Praying that whoever reads this will find a bit more peace today.