The Truth About Coming Home

I’ve learned, as a writer, that there are certain words you can’t force.

There are times when you must write even though you don’t feel inspired and that can certainly be useful, but there are certain times you can’t.

These are the words that come from quietness and pondering; the kind that seem to overflow from somewhere deep within.

This is what I have found to be true.

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I have been back on US soil for over a month now and I’ve wanted to write about it all – how crazy and scary and amazing the past 9 months have been – but I couldn’t. The words weren’t ready.

But as I’ve began to finally settle into a rhythm in this new-old life and discovered that it’s far harder (and far easier) than I anticipated, words have been simmering at the back of my mind and in my spirit.

And when 4 different people (who you didn’t even know read your blog) in the last two weeks ask about your old blog and if you still write on it because you should…you know it’s time.

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For me writing has always been about breakthrough, about sorting through the pieces after a storm and making sense of it all, turning it into something beautiful, something useful, and passing it back to those who follow.

But lately there has been this whisper in my spirit – something about writing humble, about not having some wisdom to offer after everything is alright, but being something to offer in the midst of the process. Something like carrying hope alongside the hurting and not merely throwing it back from the finish line.

I’ve been humbled a lot over the past few months – had my eyes opened to who I am without God, when I loose sight of His way and misplace His Lordship with my own. It’s a terrifying thing to realize you are capable of doing the very things you’ve judged others for.

And I’ve prided myself in being a non-judgemental person, an empathetic. But sometimes God strips away the person we think we are, and shows us what we really are apart from His grace.

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No part of me wanted to leave Indonesia. And I had plans to stay. I had it all worked out in my head how I was going to make it happen. But that last Friday in April I was offered a choice that wasn’t really a choice to return to the US and continue my studies. I cried ugly for a whole weekend, threw a lot of questions at God. Yet His only answer was the same thing He always says,

Do you trust Me?

So I swallowed hard my plans and my tears, packed two suitcases, and hugged my friends and life in Bali goodbye.

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I know this is just a season. And I’ve come to understand why I’m here. The Lord has work I need to do, people I need to talk to, things I need to learn. It’s a process. I’m learning patience, trust, and discipline.

But I now have a job that I love and is challenging and stretching me in new ways. My church is launching a new campus in a different part of town and I get to be a part of that. I am meeting new people and building relationships and making connections. I have an opportunity to study at a great university with wonderful professors. God is good. He is really good.

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I’ve learned that you can’t force things, and sometimes you can’t choose.

There are times when you must follow blindly, just trust that He knows what He’s doing, that He really truly does know best.

And with quietness and pondering,

This is what I have found to be true.

~Grace

 

P.S. I am thoroughly enjoying being back with my family. ❤

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The Truth About Coming Home

Indonesia Has My Heart

IMG_7610September comes and I hit the ground running.

Day one brings school ministries and lunch meetings and new faces.

IMG_8190Everyday new faces. And trying to remember all the names when most of them are Asian and unusual…I’m getting there.

Day three brings community and new-found family and I knew that very first gathering that I was all in. Happy tears. Grateful tears.

IMG_7623Suddenly I could see how everything had been leading up to this. Because all of my hobbies fall into place here and all of my skills and experience are being called on and this, this is where God has been working to bring me all this time.

It all made sense now.

Suddenly my planner is full and everyday holds new adventures and good food and genuine friendships.

IMG_8807[1]Suddenly meetings are my favorite because when great minds and big hearts get together to dream and plan, amazing things start working themselves out.

I’ve never encountered a community so passionate and creative and infectious.

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These people are changing Bali. And it won’t be long before the ripples start reaching other shores. I have no doubt.

Because here the dreams are big and the faith is bigger and impossible situations are simply opportunities for God to step in.

Indonesia has captured my heart.    IMG_7954

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Indonesia Has My Heart

Poetry Summer

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This summer has been pure poetry. Love, loss, adventure, nostalgia, magic.

I thrive on this stuff – on new faces and familiar places, hotels and humidity and memories – reliving the old and making new.

I was born on the move. I live to love and let go.

She said it right, my mom, how I leave a piece of myself wherever I go…but I also take something with me. This is why I’m always changing, shedding my skin to open new eyes.

I think about regrets, choices and words that haunted me, and I turn a fresh page. To know this – that I had loved with all of me and tried my best and that’s what made it enough – this changes everything.

To live without holding back is often painful; but I’ve learned to not hate myself for the things that make me brave.

This is freedom – to walk humid streets and find no stranger.

This is magic – to see yourself as mystery and flawed and to choose love.

This is living deep. Poetry.

Poetry Summer