I turned right at the store which sold individual packets of shampoo, jugs of water and batteries, trying to remember which way was home. I hoped I wouldn’t get lost. I’d just moved to Palangkaraya, Kalimantan, to our new assignment with MAF after ten years in Tarakan. And I had more limits and questions than ever. I now had three kids, two of whom I was homeschooling, one still 3 years old and doing everything possible to keep the kindergartner from sounding out just that one word.
I needed to get out and NOT think. Brad at home with the kids, I went for a Saturday morning jog in my new neighborhood. Some hard stuff had happened recently. I was already so tired from carrying so much emotionally. And everything in my new town seemed different and confusing.
Like I said, I was hoping not to get lost.
I couldn’t figure out how to fit in the things that mattered to me. Things like relationships with Indonesian women—when I had to start completely over. And writing novels about Indonesia—when my brain was too full of second grade math and history lessons and curriculum options. Plus, the ideas and visions and dreams I’d had for those pre-motherhood years and the early motherhood years just didn’t fit in this new place.
I thought I didn’t fit either.
But as I panted and prayed through my jog, God formed dreams. Words like “bridge” and “reconciliation” and “welcome” came to mind, in a region that had struggled with division. I protested, reminding Him how small I was and that I would need a nap to get through my day; I asked the questions of “how?” and “when?”
The responses came little by little—in new friends, in chances to partner with others so that the work is carried by many, in desperate dependence on God—which I’m learning is the biggest thing I have to offer this world.
I recently came across this quote from blogger Gary Morland that reminds me that I’m a mom, and also a dreamer; a homeschooler, and also a creative person.
“You were made to create, contribute, connect and leave a mark. You have been specially wired and gifted to cover your specific assignment, your corner of the pool. You are who you are on purpose. But you were made to do this in union with God, not on your own.”
So, I spend daily time voicing exhaustion and reading reassurances of deeper identity than the tasks I have to do. I ask questions and worship. I lay down burdens and pick up dreams.