It’s not all fun and games

Imagine throwing up, feeling shaky and weak, being in over 100 degrees weather with nothing to cool you off but a little fan plugged in the wall, laying on a mattress overcrowded with bags and suitcases and crumpling in the corner to try and get some rest. Meanwhile, right outside the room, there is a movie playing loudly and kids are screaming and running around.

Not exactly what you picture when you see me posting pictures with cute little children.

The reality is, missions are not all fun and games. I haven’t felt warm and fuzzy the whole time here. On the day I described above, I talked harsher to a teammate than I wanted to, had no energy, and really just wanted to be home.

But the beauty of God is that no matter where we are, no matter how we feel, He is with us and His grace pours over us. He uses us even when we feel as though we are falling apart. I have had amazing moments on this trip where I see God so clearly and feel Him so close, and I have had days where it was hard, I didn’t feel well, or I had no energy. I want to be honest about those hard times. Because that is life. And God is really reinstilling in me that we will have hard times and that He is with us through them all. That He holds us so intimately in those moments. That He is always present.

That same night on the day that I was sick, we had a worship night with the team, and I faced the wall, closed my eyes, and imagined the throne of God in front of me. I praised Him for who He is with tears streaming down my face. In my pain, I turned to Christ, and He comforted me. I sought Him there in my weakness and He gave me His strength.

While here in Cambodia, I have been reading through Psalms. In Psalms 42, David cries out to God about the hard times he is facing. Verse 6 says, “my soul is cast down within me” and verse 3 says, “my tears have been my food day and night”. David is known for being a man after God’s own heart, and yet he felt this way. He had hardship. And he vocalized it to God. He didn’t try and appear “fine”. He was naked and unashamed to express how he was really feeling.

Verse 8 says, “By day the Lord commands His steadfast love, and at night His song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.” Even in David’s hardship, he did not deny who God was but instead turned to Him and sought truth.

God never promised us an easy ride. But He promised to be with us the entire way. And all my time in Cambodia, the good and the bad, the easy and the difficult, God has been sovereign, present, and steadfast in love and faithfulness.

I wanted to share with you, reader, the hard times I have had here too, amidst many amazing times. And to comfort you, that if you are going through something difficult, cling to Christ! He cares so deeply and wants to intimately know every part of you. He wants to be your strength when you are feeling weak. He is there even when we don’t feel Him there. He died on the cross for your sins so that He could have that intimacy, that relationship with you.

Habakkuk 3:18 says, “yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”

On this trip, God has really reminded me that joy is a choice. It’s not some warm, fuzzy feeling, but in the midst of hardship you can choose joy you can choose to sing of God’s faithfulness, you can be open about the difficulties, and you can lean on God.

No matter what life throws at me, I pray that I remain steadfast in the one I can count on. And give myself GRACE when I fall short, and pour that same grace on others in their weakness too.

God is so good! In highs and lows, in Cambodia and in the USA, He is constant. And I pray I shout of His goodness no matter what happens in my life. God be glorified.

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