In the midst of my crazy life, I have moments of clarity. Moments when God reminds me that I am His daughter and His beloved. Moments when I realize that I am exactly where I am supposed to be and I have no desire to be anywhere else. Moments when I’m overwhelmed with thankfulness toward God.
Yesterday I had a series of those moments.
I tend to be a person who gets caught up in things. Life gets busy and I keep plugging away and before I know it, I’ve missed something important. I’ve forgotten to look out the window at the beautiful view, instead focusing only on the torn up road I’m driving. I see the lost and the broken, and miss the found and the whole. It’s a part of me that I’m continually trying to change because I believe that there needs to be balance in our lives. We need to see both sides of the story, the big picture and the little picture, in order to not feel overwhelmed.
Yesterday we had baptisms after church. I was standing next to a swimming pool and I suddenly realized that I was completely alone. I turned around and saw about 50 Thai people hiding in the shade of the building behind me. I stood by myself in the blaring sun and 100 degree heat and I started to laugh. Thai people don’t like the sun, it’s almost as if they are allergic to it. They fact is that they don’t want to get darker skin and believe that white skin is more beautiful. So while I try to get as tan as I can (an impossible feat), they hide from the sun.
It was in that moment that I was reminded that I am a foreigner in a foreign land. You are probably wondering how I could ever forget that, but the truth is that I occasionally do. I eat Thai food, speak the Thai language, hang out with Thai people and pretty much live a culturally Thai life. And sometimes it all blends together to the point where I forget that I’m not actually a Thai person. I’m not one of them, I’m an outsider.
In that moment of remembering, I felt extremely thankful. How amazing it is that God has placed me in nation, people and culture completely different from my own. And how much more amazing it is that God has allowed me to acclimate and fit in to the point where I feel like one of them. I can’t imagine living this life for the past 9 years and 3 months while constantly feeling like a foreigner. That would be awful.
Thank you Lord for knowing my heart so perfectly and placing me in a country that feels like home. Thank you for blessing me with amazing friends who treat me like their own and not like an outsider. Thank you for giving me an understanding of the language and the ability to eat spicy food. But mostly, thank you for knowing me and loving me so completely.
That moment of thankfulness was followed up by several more as I watched people that I know and love get baptized and make decisions to follow Jesus for the rest of their lives!
God is really amazing, isn’t He?!
I end with a couple photos celebrating new lives in Jesus. I look Thai, right? 😉