Sunday, August 27, 2017

one year in Hong Kong and wow

It's been super hard and super good. 

August 28, 2016, it was a Sunday, I landed in Hong Kong with my purple suitcases stuffed full of my favorite stuff. My best friend picked me up with a sign and a fresh sunflower, bought me fancy icecream, and we sat down in the airport and had a moment. I was in shock and not sure what to feel, so I ate my icecream and asked God for help. 

A year of living in Hong Kong has gone by.

During this year, there's been some Singapore, the Philippines, Holland, England, Thailand (twice), the U.S., China (several times), countless fall-apart meltdown cries, miracles, fun, confusion, and experiencing God be really really good. 

A year ago today, when I landed in my new home in Asia, I had no idea how weak I was. I thought I was pretty strong and pretty ready to take on this new overseas-missionary-living-the-dream life. 

It turns out that my heart is still quite selfish, it's incredibly hard to live 8,013 miles away from my loved ones and my sweet American life, I'm not that great at surrender, I'm spoiled, my emotions are wild and severe, my heart isn't able to love the people He's called me to love, I miss my nephews and niece, and my faith is a pitiful little barely-existing pile. 

Let's all look at God and say "wow."

He loves me. 
He still loves me. 
He still chooses me to be His girl, His companion, His lover, His prize. And when He first picked me to be His, He already knew about all of the selfishness and weakness and sobbing and tiny faith. But He picked me anyway. He's made of mercy. 

Tomorrow, August 28, 2017, on my one-year-in-Hong Kong-celebration day, I'm flying to India for two weeks. That's where I first felt Him nudging me into Asia. I love India. 

He'll love me there, and He'll let me give that love away to lots of pretty Indians. I'm excited. He doesn't let me go to India because I'm selfless. I don't live in Hong Kong because I'm an amazing, qualified missionary-sort-of-person. He's in love with me and in this messy process of becoming the kind of Bride He wants to spend forever with, He enjoys me. That truth- God enjoys me right now- is one I'll be wow'd by forever. 

I wish I could say that living my dream, it really is my dream, in Hong Kong was easy and I'm great at it and I've stopped with the sobbing. But I can't say that. 
What I can say, so truthfully, is that God loves my weak heart. And He loves your's too. And there are weak hearts surrounding me right now, where I sit in a red light district, that He's in love with. And His dream is being together with us. So I'm going to keep living in Hong Kong and letting Him make my weak love stronger, and letting Him love people here through me, however He wants. 

Yeah it's been hard. But it's been amazing. He's pulling people out of dark places and putting them in His family.

When we hold on to our lives, we get to decide what we want to do with them. But what God decides to do with our lives is way better than anything we could come up with. Hard, yes, but so good. And free. And joyful. And fun. 

If you were here, I'd give you a big bowl of cinnamon toast crunch. I've got a giant box because my best friend/boss bought it for me as a one-year-in-hong-kong celebration. Best friend/boss has been with me through the sobs and tantrums and I'm amazed at her steady love. She's patient and God-like and friendship is really important. 

Since you're not here to share a bowl of cereal with, how about you pray for me, that I'll live together with Jesus like what He wants, and that I'll help other people get together with Him, too. 

God loves us. Wow. 

Teach us to surrender, Lord Jesus. And to keep saying "yes" to You. You're big and beautiful and I love you. 

As the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seed to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.
-Isaiah 61:11