Grief? Pain? Anger? Bless the Lord

There are whole lengths of time that I go without having anything to say (as obvious from my lack of writing in the last few months) and other times such as these past few days I want to write without stopping.

This season of life that I have been back in the U.S. has been hard. I occasionally have glorious days when I just really “get it”; I understand that I am here in this waiting time for necessary preparation and apparently to learn a few good lessons. And although my prayer daily is “Lord, use me where I am” and “make me content in all things,” more often than not I have a bad attitude.

I am supposed to be here paying off school debt and raising funds to get back to the mission field but it has felt more like a financial step backward. And then I hear: “I will meet your every need, Kristen, through my eternal riches in Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 4:19)

I stress about the timeline of things and certain roadblocks to where I think I should go or to the things I think I should be doing. And then I hear: “I will be the voice behind you, Kristen, guiding you in the way you should go.” (Is. 30:21)

I look at others my age who are starting families and buying houses and traveling and I start to compare. I complain to God that it isn’t fair. And then I hear: “Are you now seeking the approval of man, or of God, Kristen?” (Gal. 1:10) “The good things I have planned for you are too many to count.” (Ps. 40:5)

I spent this past weekend at a retreat hearing incredible testimonies and getting to know some beautiful women of God. I got slapped in the face with another personal glimpse of that radical grace – grace that is to be received and given away. Ouch. That’s hard.

I have been in an intense 16-week missions course learning about God’s heart for the lost and the global missional mandate of the entire Bible and it is rocking my world. I feel the heartbeat of Christ as I teach my adult ESL class and look into the eyes of some precious women who need the deep, unconditional love of a Savior. (several of whom come from closed countries with no access to the gospel) God is giving me opportunities that I didn’t expect, and guess what… I am just as much “doing global missions” in an American classroom as I was in a Honduran classroom. I am just as much being the hands and feet of Christ while interpreting during a Doctor’s appointment here in the U.S. as I was praying with impoverished Honduran families.

God’s call on my life is not on hold just because I’ve changed geographical locations and I never want to treat it that way.

The biggest thing I am learning now (other than patience) is to praise God and bless His name in the middle of any circumstance. “Bless the Lord, oh my soul.” (Ps. 103) Feeling frustrated? Bless the Lord. Feeling alone? Bless the Lord. Feeling insignificant? Bless the Lord. Feeling angry? Bless the Lord. Feeling confused? Bless the Lord.

I want to share lyrics to one of my favorite old Sara Groves songs called Kingdom Comes. I feel it appropriate for this time in my life:

When anger fills your heart
When in your pain and hurt
You find the strength to stop
You bless instead of curse

When doubting floods your soul
Though all things feel unjust
You open up your heart
You find a way to trust

That’s a little stone that’s a little mortar
That’s a little seed that’s a little water
In the hearts of the sons and the daughters
The kingdom’s coming

When fear engulfs your mind
Says you protect your own
You still extend your hand
You open up your home

When sorrow fills your life
When in your grief and pain
You choose again to rise
You choose to bless the name

That’s a little stone that’s a little mortar
That’s a little seed that’s a little water
In the hearts of the sons and the daughters
The kingdom’s coming

In the mundane tasks of living
In the pouring out and giving
In the waking up and trying
In the laying down and dying

That’s a little stone that’s a little mortar
That’s a little seed that’s a little water
In the hearts of the sons and the daughters
The kingdom’s coming

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