Thankful

Things have been tough the past few weeks. I miss my kid, who has been back in the States for a little over a month now. I’ve been missing friends in the States on a level I haven’t felt since being here. Finances have been tighter than they have been in a long time. Our car is back in the shop, to fix the newly rebuilt motor, for the fourth time in as many months. It’s just been a huge sea of “one thing after another”, and sometimes it feels like it’s never ending, accompanied by the doubts of “Did we really sign up for this?”.

But still, I’m thankful. Not gonna lie, it’s hard to be. Really hard. I won’t sit here and say, “Oh, it’s just so EASY knowing God’s in control! No worries! LOL!” Because, well, lying is a sin. I’m thankful that our daughter is “back” in a emotional state that we haven’t seen for a long time, back in her comfort zone. I’m thankful that I have friends in the States to miss, and for all the wonderful friendships we have made here. Friendships that are not based on “location” out of necessity, but friendships that I am certain would have budded even if we lived in the same town in the USA, in a sea of people “like us”. We have money to buy groceries this week. I’m not sure what will happen next week, but God has never left us hungry. Most people here have never owned a car, and never will. The fact that we own one at all is a blessing. We are also blessed with cheap, fairly convenient public transportation, that allows us to soak up the language and culture for a bit, instead of traveling around in our bubble of security, complete with tinted windows.
We are blessed to be living where God has called us. When so many say, “I wish I could do…”, we can say, “We’re doing it”. And while there are days when it’s easy to just throw up your hands, say, “I wanna go home!”, the reality is, we are home. There are problems, inconveniences, and struggles no matter where you live. There’s no escape just by fleeing to what’s familiar. I think problems are magnified when you are living outside your culture and comfort zone, but they exist everywhere, and we tend to forget that there’s no Utopia, no magic formula to beating life. All we can do is lean on the Lord, press into Him, and be so so thankful that He welcomes us.

“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT

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3 thoughts on “Thankful

  1. Marlene, you continue to amaze and inspire our family. Mark must have read something on FB about Dan, because I overheard him say to himself, “Dan Bray is the real deal.” You all are. I don’t know how you do it, my child is across the country and I miss him incredibly, yours is on another continent. We are finding our ground in a new place, but everyone speaks the same language [well, with all those y’alls and southern drawls that might qualify.] I remember when God started to stir your hearts for missions, you definatly are in the right place. Thanks for the perspective and insight.

    1. Wow Lisa! I’m humbled, you’re pretty inspirational yourself 🙂 We try to be the real deal, it’s a constant uphill battle with that darn human nature that gets in the way, ha! Good thing God is there every step, and never gives up on us. Miss you guys! (er, or should I say, “miss y’all”?!!)

  2. Marlene, Here you are on the other side of the world and what you are experiencing emotionally sounds so familiar to what I’ve been feeling and thinking. We can be anywhere and feel isolated. We can wish we were closer to people we love and miss out on those who are around us. We can sit back and wish some one would reach out and call us instead of reaching out ourselves which is usually when we discover that that person really needed us to call. Once again your letter inspired me to keep moving forward and to be thankful in all things. Such a great reminder! Love you all, Sandy

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