Saturday, November 16, 2013


Photo compliments of Cambodia Trust

I've been doing this daily devotional of sorts lately called Daily Office. It's meant to be a means of breaking into your workday a couple of times each day to get quiet with the Lord so that you can learn to focus on and be led by Him throughout the rest of the day. It has a big focus on meditation and being quiet to allow the Lord room to speak. It's something I've needed, and part of a work that God is doing in me to break me of my need to be constantly doing. I believe God wants me to line up my behavior with my belief that I desperately need connection with Him every moment of every day. Fostering that connection means taking time out with Him and not allowing any task to be more important than that fellowship. I'm not not where I'd like to be in that area, but I'm learning.

Anyway, this past week one of the readings was that section of Ecclesiastes (3:1-8) which starts out, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens."  I took a little time to meditate on the verses and to see if any of them resonated with me in particular. I found that "a time to plant and a time to uproot" really hit the mark for where I am right now. I have planned ever since I came to Cambodia that I would be going back to the U.S. for home assignment in March 2014. I've vaguely sensed the time drawing nearer for that, but in the last month it hit me with force that my home assignment was a little over four months away. That has done some crazy things for my psyche and it's been a bit of an emotional roller coaster.

It's hard to express all that is involved in adjusting to living in a completely different culture than the one in which you had been raised. It was helpful to have studied about this prior to coming, but it still doesn't fully prepare you for what the experience will be like. I imagine it's kind of like the difference between hearing what child birth is going to be like and then actually giving birth. I get through one "phase" of this adaptation process and start to feel like I've adjusted, when, next thing I know, I'm thrown into another level of learning to adapt, or finding where I haven't adapted as much as I thought I had. Well, the sudden realization that I am soon to be returning to the States just broke me out of the "new normal" that I had established. I feel like I'm kind of caught between the "time to plant" and "time to uproot." My focus has been on planting, but now that I really need to start preparing my co-workers here for my absence and also making plans for my home assignment, my brain really wants to shift to "uproot" mode. To be honest, I'm a bit frustrated and impatient with being in this in-between time. I'm still here. I need to be here in my head and heart as well as in my body, but my head and heart have already started wanting to run ahead to March when I get to hop onto that plane. Don't get me wrong, I'm still ever so grateful to be doing what I'm doing here, but I've really missed my friends and family there, and now that I am actually making plans for seeing them (for many reading this, you) it actually seems to have intensified the longing. It feels like there are areas here where I still need to plant, but I so badly want to focus on the uprooting.

So, as I'm experiencing all of this emotional turmoil, something that I noticed is that, as badly as I want to return to the States right now, I really, really want to return to Cambodia. I've spent enough time planting here that my heart is now forever split - I feel like whenever I am in one place I am going to be missing the other. It's a good thing, but not always an easy thing. Kind of like longing for a Kingdom you've never seen but that has been planted in your heart by the King. Please pray for me as I go through this emotional planting/uprooting season.