I write this from the shore of a lake an hour outside of Perth. Two soulful Christian guitarists are serenading each other behind me, an Australian is threatening, in a cheerful and nigh-unintelligible mumble to up-end a bucket of water over me if I don't get in the lake, and I am eating bacon-flavored crisps. Since the Aussie -I think his name is Johnny- has already emptied two water guns at me, I'm inclined to take him at his word.
This week we've been working on hearing God's voice. Lessons involved long quiet times with specific questions to ask God, and during this extra quiet time, I've become certain of some things.
This past week I've been hit with a lot of homesickness. I remember one day when I got back to the house, I had it all to myself. Seizing the opportunity, I had a nice long cry until my housemates returned. See, YWAM operates under the belief that all work should be done in community, all meals should be taken in community, all down time should be spent in community, and that it is in the shelter of other people we live.
Honestly, these are great truths to live by. But imagine for a second that you're an introvert who had recently uprooted herself and has now jumped headlong into a community of over 300 strangers. After a few days of trying to remember all those names of the totally groovy people, you'd be worn out as well.
But even as I deal with the fading effects of jet-lag and try to carve out a niche for myself on base, God keeps reminding me that He called me here for a reason. The funny thing about God's callings is that while they are meant for our ultimate good, following them is rarely comfortable.
I'm reminded of a passage from Orthodoxy by GK Chesterton. You'll have to bear with me, as I didn't bring my copy with me - a choice I am already regretting. Essentially, Chesterton compares Christianity to a balancing rock held in place by its many extremities.
I think it's the same here. God has some perfect good planned for me, but in the process He needed to challenge me. Yes, I miss my family. I miss the people who love me as I am, my friends and compatriots, the ones never satisfied with the now. But it seems that God is calling me further up the mountain pass, and in order to follow Him, I must set aside my comforts for a time. That this challenge is mine to carry, that in the fullness of time, I will return but not before then.
If anything, the thing I've heard overwhelmingly is that for now, God's presence is enough, that He wants to teach me how to be still in His presence alone. It has been such a comfort during my homesickness.
Anyways, I just wanted to pop in with a quick update. In other news, despite my almost religious application of Australian sunscreen, I have stared to brown like a roasting turkey. Ah, sunshine. It's good to feel you on my skin once again.