My world has transformed from the cornfields of Indiana, the sound of cicadas in the fall, dinners around the table with my family, my one-light small town, a 40-hour-a-week job at a church of 3,000, and English words and writing to something so very drastically different. The words and tones and writing of Thai and Burmese are so very foreign. The driving and traffic are so very different. The flavors and smells and textures are unfamiliar. Everything is so very new.
But of one thing I’m convinced, this season in Thailand, no matter how long it lasts, will be beautiful.
It already is.
It’s beautiful to step into a new culture, a new country, in the lives of new people. It’s beautiful to see families at the market or at the store or at a restaurant. It’s beautiful to see cultures collide, to see Burmese with Thai with Westerners. It’s beautiful to drive beside the mountains on a motorbike, holding down my helmet so it doesn’t get caught in the wind. It’s beautiful to step into new rhythms, to be overwhelmed and overloaded. It’s beautiful to remember the fullness of my dependency on Jesus.
This is my world.
It has moved from familiar in every possible way to absolutely unfamiliar.
I still forget to take off my shoes before I walk into a home. Every once in awhile, I throw my toilet paper in the toilet instead of the trash can beside it. I have to think twice before I merge with traffic, to make sure I’m riding on the right side. I constantly use an exchange rate app to figure out how much USD I’m spending. Air conditioners are my best friend. I feel completely lost in understanding the social cues and body language of this new culture.
here is the beauty.
I am held by a God who sees me and knows me in the deepest ways. There is grace for this season and for every season. Right now, that seems to be the word the Father is breathing over my life. Grace upon grace upon grace. It’s a grace that makes space to be overwhelmed and overloaded. It’s a grace that allows me to fall, to make a mistake, to question and wonder and feel insecure. It’s a grace that creates space for me to not know the right way or the best way forward but to trust the Holy Spirit to lead. It’s a grace that meets me with the deepest kind of love. In this season, there is a beauty in knowing that Jesus deeply sees me, knows me, and even still, loves me, breathing grace into my lungs.
I am surrounded by people who get it. They’ve been where I’m at. They’ve rode on the wrong side of the road, cringing when car horns blare. They’ve gotten lost on the strange roads and in the cultural norms. They’ve ordered food at restaurants and prayed to God that they actually ordered something delicious. They’ve looked at road signs and menus and papers in total confusion, the Thai or Burmese characters so very different from anything they’ve ever read. They get it, and they meet me in the newness of it all.
I am privileged to step into the stories of remarkable people. Even in the midst of the new and the different, I have been reminded constantly of how privileged I am. My team has this immense opportunity to step into people’s stories here on the Thailand/Burma border, and for some reason, the Father has given me this incredible gift—the chance to be a part of these people’s stories, even if it’s just for a season. I am privileged with the opportunity to walk with them a little closer to Jesus. That is beautiful beyond words.
This is my world.
New and different in every way but also beautiful and wonderful in so many ways, more than I can put into words.
This life, this story that I get to live in, is an honor. It is a privilege, and I am overwhelmed by the gift of it all.