Saturday, August 15, 2009

I'm moving from Romania tomorrow; I'll be in Budapest for three or four days until I fly westward. It's strange feeling attached to a place I may never return to. I felt attached to Rome for its timeless beauty, but Romania only hangs on to hints of a beautiful past. In shabby building that need a good sandblasting, you can see remnants of the city that once was the Second Paris. I didn't think there would be too much sadness in leaving this city, but I was wrong. Because I have fallen so in love with all of the wonderfully godly people here, I have also seen the charm this city holds.

A friend of mine wrote a poem about the beauty he saw in the city of New Orleans; it was reminiscent of Sandburg's "Chicago." After living and thriving in a place, it is hard to let go of it. Even if the beauty is extremely hard to find, it is still there. I was wrong when I told my mother that "I am allergic to this city which places no value in beauty." This city does value beauty, and if you don't believe me, just research the Rose Park in Timisoara.

One lesson I have learned that I will pass along: don't think that you can understand the effects of communism until you listen to the stories of those who stood in the square when the Revolution started. The changes happened for them. Their prayers were answered that day in 1989.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

This is a story that I haven't told as much as I should have; therefore, I feel like this is a pretty decent place to practice telling it. Whether or not you've heard it before, bear with me. It's really the only story I have worth telling.

All my life, I've lived with the tension of wanting to hear from God and sense His presence and being petrified of what might happen once He does. I would thirst for God's voice but was afraid that once He spoke, I would have to listen. I was afraid that if He did show up, I would somehow end up an old maid in China taking care of orphans. No offense to Chinese orphans, but I had other plans.

Eventually, the thirst and the longing started to overtake the uncertainty. I so longed for God's direction, that the fear eventually subsided once I realized the peace that comes from resting in Him. There is a song by Jennifer Knapp that I have known for a long time; I have a few favorite lines that always stay with me: "So turn on the light and reveal all the glory/I am not afraid /To bare all my weakness knowing in meekness/I have a kingdom to gain." Those lyrics sum up all of the anxiety that I felt as well as the peace the comes when our weakness is made perfect in Christ.

Since then, I have struggled with various areas in my life, but I know that God promised His unfailing love to me. I always take comfort in the fact that God knows and answers the prayers in my heart that I am too ashamed to utter aloud. The same tension still rears its ugly head, but I know that with God holding my right hand, He will lead me in triumphal procession [even if it leads me to China].