Friday, July 29, 2011

I no longer need the gps to find the Roadway in the Wilderness :)

The smell of chlorine tickled my nose as the splash of water found it's way to my face.  The evening humidity draped itself over me like a damp blanket as the shouts and laughter surrounding the pool area reached my ears.  All of a sudden it hit me.  I am part of a community. :)        

Earlier this week we went to a swim meet to cheer on the children of some friends who were competing.  This may not appear to be anything earth shattering, but as I stood there surrounded by people I knew, having come to support someone else's children instead of my own, I realized for the first time that God has indeed been faithful to bring me past the place of feeling welcome, to truly feeling like I belong here.  I smile at the timing of this revelation as this weekend marks one year  since packing up our lives in Maryland and beginning to unpack them here.  It seems a funny concept to "pack up" one's life and in turn to then "unpack" it, but along with the boxes that held our earthly possessions, I feel as if we also figuratively placed our lives in a box and over the past year have slowly taken out pieces of ourselves and set them here or there in hopes of finding just the right place in which to totally feel at home.

On one hand, it seems as if the past year has flown by and it's crazy to think that all the "firsts" of the last 12 months, which at the time seemed so daunting, will now suddenly be "seconds" that aren't so intimidating.  On the other hand, picturing myself dazed and confused amid a gazillion boxes and wondering where to begin, both in the unpacking of boxes and the process of settling in, seems like a lifetime ago.  I feel at home, yet still hold on to the wonder of how blessed we are to be in this not-so-new-anymore place.  I looked back today at the previous year of posts and am thankful that I can still remember exactly how I felt a year ago today.  Maybe that's why it seems in a way as if a year has flown by.  So much has happened, yet it's still fresh on my mind the mix of feeling alone in a new place coupled with the assurance that God would do something new and anxiously living in expectation of it.  "Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert." (Isaiah 43:18-19)  Looking back, I couldn't have chosen a more fitting verse to title this blog.  God has most faithfully made a way and a home for us here...even in the times when I wasn't faithful on my end to truly be aware and look for the ways in which He was continuously working.  There are still days in which I feel like the new person, but they are becoming more few and far between.  The idea that I feel truly at home here surprises me on some days, like earlier this week at the swim meet, when all of a sudden I felt such a sense of community that I was overwhelmed by the faithfulness of a God who loves me so much and continues to instill in me a sense of belonging.  As we've literally and figuratively unpacked our lives here, we've seen how God has allowed us to bring with us those relationships we've held dear for years while still leaving us open and our hearts available for the blessing of new friends.  Even in recent weeks, God has surprised me with the creative ways in which He continues to bring new friends across my path...but that's another post for another day. :)  I am learning to continuously live in expectation of the new things God is working in and around me, remembering that no matter how long I have lived in one place, He is always wanting to do something new and desiring that I be watchful enough to be aware of those "roadways in the wilderness" and "rivers in the desert".  :)

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." (Hebrews 10:23)

"The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it." (1 Thessalonians 5:24)

"In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation." (Psalm 5:3)

"God said, 'I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go...I will not leave you unil I have done what I have promised you.'"  (Genesis 28:15)

"Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you." (Psalm 9:10)

"The Lord will guide you always, he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.  You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." (Isaiah 58:11)

"This God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end." (Psalm 48:14) <3

(At least "someone" was comfortable in all the chaos one year ago today.)