The last few weeks have been very hard for me (Adam) personally.
In many ways, they have been the most difficult by far.
My heart has been struggling. It hit me the hardest recently… probably right after our 6 month mark here.
A deep restlessness, sadness and even frustration have surfaced. I’ve given myself permission to feel deeply, but I am trying to discern why these emotions are so strong at this time. I’ve landed on two main reasons.
First, I have been so incredibly blessed with friendships and family members. I couldn’t possibly explain how the Lord has lavished such precious people upon me . My heart aches to be with those people. I know those friendships are still alive, but I am not able to sit down face to face with a cup of coffee with those people. I miss that more than I could have imagined.
Second, my heart aches as my already deep love for the people around me in Costa Rica grows yet deeper! It hurts because I see the struggles they experience. I want to “fix” their situations. I hurt because I know that they hurt. I am able to offer minor relief, but relief is not what they most need. They need the Lord and His intervention. They need a way to break the cycles. The restlessness consumes us, as Kelly and I process the best methods to break generational patterns.
At the same time, I’m somewhat of a walking contradiction. Although there is ache in my heart, I am absolutely overwhelmed with gratitude. I’m both blown away by my old friendships, and I’m so grateful for the new friendships that the Lord is providing us. There is such a gift in meeting someone who is a kindred spirit.
This is my new friend, Pastor Emmanuel. If ever I’ve known one, he is a good shepherd.
My hope level is so high. I am dreaming so big. My expectations are huge!
In many ways Kelly and I feel like volcanoes, and we are about to erupt. The explosion will be huge too! (There are many volcanoes in Costa Rica by the way… if you hear of one going off, it quite possibly could be the two of us.)
As I process how to move forward, I sense the Lord gently, lovingly reminding me of truths that He has taught me so many times before. I’m drawn to the C.S. Lewis quote, “Christians don’t need to be taught as much as they need to be reminded.” So true. The Lord has reminded me to have a plan… and stick to the plan. He’s reminding me…
Have a plan on what you will do when disappointment comes. I “try” to make a gratitude list. When I begin to think about all that I have to be thankful for, my vision changes. All of a sudden I’m looking for that which I’m thankful for. The result is that I see it everywhere. My expectation then becomes to see God continue to do the more because I’m looking for it. My expectations shape what I see.
He’s reminding me to rest in the arms of the One who loves me perfectly.
Have a plan on what you will do when sadness hits you. Again, we must let ourselves feel the appropriate emotion. I “try” to intentionally remember truth. I declare it. My feelings try to tell me that they trump truth, but that is a lie. Truth remains the same whether I feel it or not.
Have a plan on what to do when you are angry. (I do much better if I’ve got a plan prior to letting anger guide my response!)
Have a plan on how to steward all that the Lord has entrusted to you. We’re “trying” to steward it all well. It may sound silly to some, but you would be surprised how many hard, macho men have softened up to us simply because we gave them some of Kelly’s cookies! Steward it all well… even cookies!
Have a plan to grow spiritually. (Godliness never happened by accident.)
Our plan is to be prepared… as best as we can be.
Again, we will do what we can to be prepared… to protect ourselves from the elements, but we will choose joy… scandalous joy even if we look silly.
We are learning more now than ever the importance of biblical joy.
Joy that is nonsensical.
Joy that sustains when seasons feel unfavorable.
This is very much a season of learning. As we learn, we are choosing to cling and cleave together.
Our plan is to make life our mission…. wherever we find ourselves…
It becomes our mission field.
As we experience the new, we are doing it together. There is something very powerful and important about “together.” It gives strength and courage. It makes the hard things easier, and the joyful things more joyful.
The plan is not to give fear… or anything else power over me. The moment I give someone or something power over me is the moment that I am no longer able to completely / freely love that person. I want to love freely.
Please know that my heart is much encouraged. There is no need to panic. Just want to be able to share the good with the bad… and there is an abundance of good.
One thing that my heart is convinced of completely… He can be trusted.
My invitation to you is to just keep going… even if it’s at a crawl’s pace. Keep going.
From my heart to yours.