Sunday, August 25, 2013

More Than I Can Handle

We've been in the village for a week and a half. It's definitely another world! When I look out the two screened windows in my room, I can see banana and coconut trees, pigs, chickens, roosters, a monkey tied up, water buffalo (feel free to sing the song- I certainly have!) laundry hanging, and small houses with grass or tin roofs. I sleep under a mosquito net, the roosters start crowing about 4 am or so, and keep going all day. The last week has been spent (in addition to playing games and so forth with the kids) cleaning and organizing the school room and planning for the school year.

So what has God been teaching me, you ask? (Ok, you might not be asking, but I'll tell you anyway.) Well, I'm on the other side of the world from home, I've spent a week and a half in a rural village in a foreign country with no internet (which means no contact with anyone back home), facing drawers with hiding cockroaches, a mountain of school books, and teachers manuals, and a year of teaching four children when I've never taught one subject before... yeah. There's been a whole lot of learning going on over here! Here's one thing though.

People often say that God won't give us more than we can handle. It sounds very nice and comforting, but the reality is that it's simply not true. He does give us more than we can handle because He wants us to depend on Him instead of looking within for the strength to handle it. The fact that He loves us doesn't mean that He will keep us from challenge, pain or difficulty. Rather, because He loves us, He wants us to learn to trust when we can't see, to find peace and joy in Himself, and to find that He really does give strength for the weary; that His grace really, truly is sufficient. He does give us more than we can handle, but He will never give us anything that He is not able to live through us to overcome.

I'll be honest, lately I've had way more than I can handle. There have been plenty of moments when I was stressed, overwhelmed, or lonely, and didn't know how I could keep going. In moments where I would normally go to my mom or a friend for prayer and perspective, I have been in a position where all I could do was cry out to God and trust that He is all He says He is. Again and again, I have cried out for wisdom, clarity, strength, peace, for Him to live through me and make me more like Him... It's been hard. It's been painful. But never once have I been forsaken or alone. In the times when I felt I couldn't hold on, He has been holding on to me. I've been learning, along with so many other things, faith. Trust. Hope in the One who can never fail. I'm learning that He really is enough, and no matter the cost, it's worth it.

I don't mean to sound like I've been falling apart the whole time- I certainly haven't! There have been wonderful times of laughter, fun, learning to fit into a new family, and experiencing many new things. Here are some pictures!

About to get on the helicopter

In the helicopter on the way to the village- it was amazing!

This was waiting for me in my room. Welcome to the tribe, Lindy!

Charlotte, my brave, loyal assistant in organizing/cleaning, and Ernie the cockroach. Ernie is no longer with us. Thanks Charlotte!

The school room- very definitely a work in progress.

Cockroach poop. The cockroaches in this drawer had been killed by the time I took this picture. So fun! haha

Somebody in the village found this bird and gave it to Kyle. Mom, I'm posting this for you.

A corner of the Talbot's house

Next Door

"Everybody's got a water buffalo..."

Kyle took me and Sophia on a village tour. This is the waterfall which, I believe, normally has much more water.

Learning to knit!

The school room, looking much better, but still a work in progress

School books!

Kyle working on his fort

One of the little girls in the village


Lindsay Meeker said...

Lindy, I'm so proud of you! You are courageous, not by your own strength, but because you are a faithful servant of God. You are growing so much and when you leave the Philippines, I guarantee you will be sad but happy that you took that leap of faith to do Gods will. Love you and really look forward to reading your posts!

Beth Branch said...

I'm so glad you were able to post! I've been thinking about you a lot, wondering what it was like for you in the village.

That overwhelmed feeling, relating to the homeschool part, if the way just about every mom feels as each new year begins, especially when high school starts! You will be SO ready when you have your own family!

Continuing to pray for you, Lindy! Excited to see what God has in store!

Beth Branch