"We only find out where we are when we find out where He is.
We find ourselves...when we find Him." - Ann Voskamp
I started counting gifts. By that I mean I began a gratitude journal counting all the ways God loves me big and small, His gifts to me. It was the way my soul refocused in the blur of life by the tornado I was swept into. The tornado is powerful and violent and uncaring and there is no table to hide under or a refuge to take cover. Gratitude was (and is) my fight to find grace and joy in everything.
Good, bad, ugly, uncomfortable, sad, lonely and the things that maybe "shouldn't be the way they are..."
When we look, when we actually stop to see, I should say, we find Him and there are always gifts to count. I was reminded by author, Ann Voskamp, that "life is not an emergency." Yes, it is fleeting and brief, but not an emergency. Yet the way I was functioning read a different book entirely. I have been in an almost constant "911" mode, doing important things, for important reasons and for important people.
Do I need to live my life in this mode? Does my vision need to be blurred because of the dust of the tornado? And does my heart have to beat rapid even when I sleep?
An important question to often ask ourselves is "Why are we doing what we are doing?" In doing those important things, for important reasons, for important people I really lost myself.
It is difficult in this work of dire situations and looking in the faces of hurting people, to not devote your every effort and every minute to "the cause". Because indeed, it is a great cause, and it needs your immediate attention most of the time. Yet its "emergencies" start to creep in and it can consume you in every aspect of your life if you allow it. And if you put all your eggs into just one basket, they will eventually- crack. Needless to say, and not for pity, this cause has taken a toll on me.
I lost myself in the mission, in the calling to another country, in the work worthy of our attention. But with the subtraction of my culture, my hobbies, my loved ones and my freedoms, the real me is hard for me to find. I must figure out who I am in this land I call home within "the mission" I came here for. And it begins now.
This is Gift #165 on my ongoing gratitude list: Restoration.
There is a new goal. Well, really it has always been. It has nothing to do with emails, the to do list, networking, newsletters, or even the actual ministry. But has everything to do with a focused life and a new way of living.
A goal that will require setting boundaries, taking breaks, walking the dogs, starting a hobby, cooking for myself and for those I love. One that will protect me from the violent winds of the tornado, as I take cover under something greater than the table. I much more will value myself, my health, my relationship with God and my moments on this earth. Without these I can do nothing of importance.
The goal of my life is to find Him and know Him and that is where I find myself all over again.
Restoration: The action of returning something to a former owner, place, or condition.
Why are you doing what you are doing? Do you feel like something in your life is consuming you? What adjustments do you have to make?