Monday, August 29, 2011

Emotions in Bangkok

I never really shared about returning to Bangkok, so here it goes. At first I was quite apprehensive. My first couple months in Bangkok were quite the roller coaster. The first month was all exciting and new and almost like the 'honeymoon' stage. Setting up home, nesting, watching God provide, and meeting all new people and family. Then month 2 set in and the routine....and the reality of my situation. Along with that came loneliness, gosh, I realized yet once again how important community is for the human soul. We all need it- attention, fellowship, an awareness of our existence from others. There were days where I didn't have an actual conversation with someone...let alone in my natural tongue. This is an immediate recipe for the drying of the soul. And somehow in these times we know God's presence will fill us and make us whole but it's often the last thing we try. I love how the Bible calls us sheep. Sheep are the dumbest animals, literally. And that's what God calls us, because we run from the thing we KNOW will make us better. Why is that? So to say it lightly, that was a rough month.

Next my friends came and I got a break and fellowship for 6 weeks and spent some time with family and with my adorable nieces. Nothing makes my heart smile more than little kids, so it was the perfect refreshment for my soul. The return to Bangkok was kinda looming over me. Anxiety, fear, apprehension... I can not return to that last season-- I just can't. So I prepared my mind, soul, and heart for the battle I was about to enter.

When I returned, my sweet little landladies were the first to greet me right out of the taxi with great big smiles. They knew my return date and were just waiting for me, with my mail in hand. They wanted to hear all about it. The security guard was smiling and more than willing to help carry my luggage upstairs for me. It was like coming home to family, honestly. Out on my street the next day, I ran into some neighbors who I met at church--- more community, more family-- wondering where I've been and how I've been. I'm not alone.

I started the next Module (#3) at language school and met all new people. Things seemed to be on the right track, a healthy start. But within a matter of days I felt the fear, insecurity, and anxiety rising back up. It was overwhelming, all-consuming, and so not me. I don't usually have fear, definitely not to this level, so I knew Satan was up to something. My stomach was in absolute knots, I could hardly eat for a week... (lost some healthy weight, thanks satan :) I thought, no way this is happening. Not again. Not on my watch. I'm wiser this time and fully know when the devil is attacking me and I'm not going to take it. For if God is with me, who can be against me? No weapon formed against me shall prosper. I clung to that with dear life.

So I pressed in. I sought the Presence at every spare moment. I prayed without ceasing. The fear came at school- a near panic attack- but with the lovely gift of tongues I was able to dispel it. I could not move with out God. I clothed myself in the armor of God daily (Eph. 6:10-18) and took communion daily. And you know what?!?

It worked.

My peace is back. My confidence is back. I feel strong and empowered. My excitement for what God is going to do with my obedience here has fully returned. There is absolutely no more fear. For perfect Love (Jesus) casts out all fear. (1Jn. 4:18)

God's word is true. When we call out to Him, He will come. He is the author of Peace. He freely gives us what we need. He wants to protect us, to fill us; for us to be healthy and whole. He wants to be our perfect Daddy, our all-loving, unconditional Father. And all we have to do is run to Him. Collapse in His arms. Pour our heart out to Him. And just LET Him love us. It's so simple, and yet our human minds complicate it and we act like sheep.

I have been given everything I need to combat the devil. So I have nothing to worry or fear. And if anything, the devil's attacks just confirms I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be or he wouldn't be trying to paralyze me. Experience has made me wiser and the testimony of God's provision makes me further unconquerable because Revelation 12:11 says, "And they overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death".

And this whole pressing in for God and His Presence makes for a pretty sweet season with the Lord. This is what we were made for, for constant communion with the Lord. We were made specifically to be in relationship with God. Why does it usually take a battle or trial to make us press in? I pray I never stop pressing, especially when life is sabaay sabaay (thai for good and comfortable). I want to finish this race strong. I will finish strong.

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