I have a confession to make… I have been combatting a lot of lies. I don’t even know how it happened. But it did and I feel like I’ve been at war with my own mind.
But here’s the thing, I am fighting a battle that was won many years ago when Jesus took my own hot mess and died instead of me. It’s not him that’s sneaking in and whispering “you’re not cut out for this place.” He is the one who called me here. And I believe that he is faithful. (1 Thessalonians 5:24). The Lord is not the one screaming at me, “YOU AREN’T QUALIFIED TO BE HERE.” For I know that He has given me everything I need for life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3). He’s not the one who is telling me, “you’re losing yourself here” because I know that my home is found in him. That because of Christ in me, I have the hope of glory. (John 15, Colossians 1:27). He is not the one who is whispering, “you don’t have anywhere to belong,” because I know that in the kingdom of God is the only place that I need to belong. I know that I belong to the Lord and that He has redeemed me. (1 Peter 2:9-10) He does not tell me that I am “too prideful, too sinful, too much for this culture.” I know that those lies do not come from him, because I know that in Christ, I am a new creation, He has taken the old and the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). I could go on and on; there’s a reason that Satan is called the “Father of Lies”. (John 8:44)
So I will continue to fight the lies, to speak truth over myself, knowing that truth is my greatest weapon. And i know that truth brings freedom. But the thing about true freedom is that you have to want to walk in it. And why wouldn’t I? Jesus died so that I could know freedom. Why would I keep walking in the lies? He has already won the battle. So I will continue to walk into freedom, using the truth of His word, remembering that his banner over me is LOVE. and LOVE always wins.
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 5:1
It’s been a little over six months for us now. We had our first visa run to Thailand, explored our city of Kolkata, took a train to a beach town for my birthday, rigged a tree for Christmas and celebrated thanksgiving potluck style. We’ve had our share of overnight hospital stays. I’ve even run into a girl who I worked at a summer camp almost four years ago. A lot has happened to us in a short span of six months and it feels as though we have been here for years.
While we were back in the states preparing to come here, I didn’t think that we would have experienced so much in such a short period of time (and we still have a year and a half left). I didn’t expect some of the hardships that have come our way. I knew that moving our lives to other side of the world would be hard but I didn’t know just how hard. I never knew how much just walking out of our apartment door would be some days, or what 1.3 billion people really looks like all crammed together. There were many more moments than I’d like to admit that I didn’t know how I was going to get out of bed and deal with the chaos of India (I still have those moments now). But here I am, six months later and still standing. But it is through no strength of my own.
I’ve had to find new ways to rely on The Lord. New ways to seek Him when things are going well and when things are going so bad I just want to yell at the top of my lungs. I’ve had to pray to see the world through His eyes, because if I didn’t, I would be holed up in a deep depression seeing all the injustices on a daily basis. I’ve prayed for a softened heart to deal with the locals and all that goes into communicating cross culturally. But I’ve also prayed in thanksgiving. For an undying friendship with a wonderful wife who I have yet to grow weary of (probably the best thing ever). For the times that we teach English to the four younger boys who dart to class with the biggest smiles on their faces eager to learn. For the relationships that we have built with all of the kids here. For the friends that we have made, both ex-pat and national. God has been quick to remind us why we are here.
And looking back at the first six months with all the hardships and victories that we have gone through, knowing that God has been there in all of it, I know that as we look forward to the next six months, I can reassure myself that He will be there. He will be there for the new struggles and obstacles that come our way and that we can rejoice in Him in the goodness that he will bring in those six months as well. And I know that because He has brought me to this point, He will carry me through the next six months and beyond.