As soon as I got back from the Philippines, I was hit with reverse culture shock. Reverse culture shock occurs when you travel and become accustomed to the culture of the country you are visiting and then return home needing to re-adjust back into your original culture. I had lived too simply, showered too little, and eaten too little to go back to Pasadena in all its flashy overabundance and comfort. It was actually uncomfortable to go back to my house and sleep in a bed, the absence of humidity was unnatural, the frequency of showering was unnerving, the amount of food served was sickening. When you are accustomed to less, more doesn’t seem so attractive.
I was happy to be back with my clean pillow, thankful for hot showers, and for the variety of food I could eat, but I was uncomfortably comfortable. I was uneasy. I was still heartbroken for all I had seen. I needed to process. To cry to God, to shout at Him, to feel His heart breaking the way I felt mine was.
Then someone approached me and asked me if I wanted to go on a summer mission trip to Indonesia.
WHAT? Excuse me?! Seriously?! Again, God?
Did I want to do this all over again?? Did I want my heart broken all over again??
Heck. No. Lord.
I flat out said no and I continued on with my life. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t about to take the leap and get my heart broken again.
2 months later, I was sitting in a Mission Conference in Santa Barbara listening to Shane Claiborne, one of my heroes. He was talking about living an ordinary radical life for Christ. Jesus calls us to live radical everyday, it’s an ordinary radical life. We have to sacrifice our limits, how much we think we can stand. We have to give up our dreams and let him give us His bigger ones.
And that’s when it hit me. I’ve been given a radical opportunity. This doesn’t happen everyday. I know God gave me the opportunity for a reason, He is asking me to trust Him with my heart. And then I remembered, this is another opportunity to jump. This is another opportunity to see God at work in another country. This is another opportunity to trust that God will heal and equip and provide. Again. I know that every time I give my heart to Him, He takes me deeper, farther, and brings me nearer to Him. But it will hurt, it will be uncomfortable, but it’s growth.
And for the first time, I could sing these lines with conviction:
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
I said YES. Again. Again, God. Show me again. Take me deeper, wider, farther. Let the waves knock me down so I will rely more on you to pick me up. Continue to break my heart for the things that break yours. I could sing Amanda Cook’s Brave.
You make me brave
You call me out beyond the shore into the waves
BE WILLING TO SAY “AGAIN, GOD.”