It’s a weird sort of way to live and a new way to me. I’ve been wrestling with how to think of it since we left Korea.
It’s an adventure!
It’s a honeymoon!
It’s a vacation!
Well, yes. To all of those.
But that wears off after a week or two.
And then you’re just living with family, talking big about Plans and Dreams that are, so far, non-existent.
After a while, you start to feel like you’re dreaming. Where are we? What life is this?
It’s hard to stay focused on anything when you have nothing to do but look around. When you’re in-between communities. When there are a thousand tiny tasks to do–and you do them, but they seem to dissolve and disappear as they’re accomplished.
Since we left Korea I read Pilgrim’s Progress for the first time in a million years, and since we arrived at my in-laws’ I found an old favorite again: Hind’s Feet on High Places, Hannah Hurnard’s incredibly moving, convicting story of Fear and trust and Love. I ripped through it in two days and have heavily hinted to Nate that he needs to get on it, because I need someone to talk about it with. The books are similar: heavy on the allegory and symbolism and Scripture. The movement from lost to found and everything the comes between. Journey stories.
Two things have stayed with me, lodged in my brain and directing my thoughts and prayers these days.
First are the houses. Places of rest along the King’s Highway, on the road to the Celestial City. This is where the pilgrims take a break from the harsh conditions of the road, where they’re protected from enemies and have space to reckon with themselves.
Second are the altars. Whenever Much-afraid encounters obstacles or enemies, she stops and builds an altar. She builds with whatever she can find. She offers whatever was being challenged: her will, her desires, her very heart.
That’s where we are.
For the first time, we have no demands on our time other than what we create.
And a thousand things want to devour that time. I can feel their pull. Stay in bed a little longer. Read another blog. Watch another cooking show. Go for a walk. Send another email.
I give in to those daily. Several times a day. And sometimes, in some seasons, it’s hard to hear anything else. But here, it’s different. Here, I’m hyperaware that the only thing in the whole world holding me back from the presence of Jesus is me. My choices. My desires. This is always true, but it’s never been more starkly clear than right now.
What do I really want?
What can I offer?
What do I need to see here?
And on the way, as I ask, as days pass, maybe I’m learning things I didn’t know. Maybe in the unknown, in the fear, in the going, I’m picking up pebbles, memorial stone that He will somehow transform one day.