Okay, it's Wednesday morning. I've been here three weeks. Time for a State of the Union address, i.e. my union with Alaska. I've been pretty busy getting settled, taking care of business, applying to volunteer and substitute in my little native village. I have reserved my first commercial bush flight there next Monday, returning on Tuesday. I'll be staying with the school principal and volunteering the two days. Am I out of my comfort zone? You just can't know!
I've been meeting some really nice people, finding social activities, attending Changepoint Church and going to new attender classes. My days are not boring but neither are they so filled as to be hectic.
So I ask myself, "How am I?" That's the question I get from a lot of you also. I think I'm feeling what everyone does when they move to a new place. A little lonely, a little homesick (for heaven, not Dade City), a little excited, a little restless. It takes work to assimilate into a new location. Part of me would really like to stay curled up in my little apartment all day, not see anyone, not go anywhere, just watch TV, write some songs, write some blog, eat and sleep. That part of me feels like caving in, calling it quits, admitting this was a bad idea, trying to make the best of it until I can get home. But that voice is honestly quite small.
The bigger, God-size voice in me tells me that I am on the journey of my life. The lessons I am learning about trusting God, letting Him lead, watching Him show His stuff have such an overwhelming hold on me that I am really feeling something like awe every day. I don't think I will ever be the person I was.
I think a lot (I have time to think) about the old me, the me who was leading a "normal", predictable, risk-free lifestyle. I always did whatever I needed to do to stay upbeat and positive, dodging the blues by always having new and challenging activities in my life. But I stayed very close to home, both physically and mentally. My family, my music, my teaching, all accessed that creative part of me that helped me define myself and feel a sense of affirmation and worth. I knew how to function in those places and it always felt warm, safe and fulfilling.
Now, some might say I'm searching for that same feeling through mission work. Perhaps that's partly true. But what I'm seeking by whisking myself away to the corner of the earth is a sort of throwing off of all the security nets. I'm free falling with only the Lord to catch me. And I believe it was He who called me to this. He seems to think it's time for me to learn to trust Him alone, to grow up, to experience the fruit of the Spirit in my life, not as an illusion brought on by circumstance, but as a spiritual reality: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. Sheesh! I know I've never lived with those qualities in the deepest places of my soul. But I am so ready.