Sometimes (a lot of times actually) I love that I am an expat. I love that I am spending a portion of my twenties living abroad and experiencing a culture other than my own. I love that I can purchase a cup brimming with fresh mango and pineapple and watermelon for just over a dollar ($25 pesos) as I'm running errands around the city. I love that a night over tacos (of the most legit sort) brings me closer to these friends that I have found here and doesn't break my bank. I love that I spend my days immersed in Spanish and a clash of at least four cultures. I adore my little upstairs flat with the huge window that overlooks a classically Mexican scene. I love my red coffee pot and that my little adventure buddy is soaking up this Latin experience with me. I love the friendships that are growing around my table with laughter and some handmade dishes from a trip to Tonola.
I realize that in the hardest most miserable moments here, the moments I would most like to leave this all behind (the heat, the scorching hot water, the tiny classroom, my lack of counter space, etc.) that someday I will miss this. Here.
Even these moments.
I do know that.
But still these moments happen.
Still they knock the wind out of you like a bad fall from a swing.
Just when you are on an expat high, loving foreign life and all that comes with it, these moments will find you.
It seems they search you out.
And you wonder if you will ever figure out how to be yourself in this place. If the pieces that have been missing for so long will ever return. If they are gone forever. If they will find their way back to you in another place and another time.
These moments have felt many as of late.
More than I would like to admit.
I have found myself questioning everything I ever thought that I was. Feeling as if I have failed. Everyone.
The truth and the lies seem so hard to decipher in these moments. The lies seem so piercingly real and somehow they begin to settle in as truth.
Here are the things I am telling myself lately.
Right now, actually.
I tell myself these things because they are the truth.
Because I cannot let the lies settle in. I cannot let them shape who I am here.
Or anywhere for that matter.
Because this is what I have waited my entire life for.
To be a "missionary" whatever that might mean.
Because He was kind enough to let me. To trust me with taking who He is to those who desperately need to know.
Of course I knew it wouldn't be easy. That it never will be simple. That it will always require everything that I am. More.
That's what I signed up for. The thing I wanted the most.
And so these things I must keep telling myself.
Day after day.
Moment after moment.
Because it's about so much more than me. So much more than my comfort and my needs and my struggles and my wants and hurts and failures and dreams.
It's about realizing how deeply and passionately He loves me. Before any of this.
Before these moments. Before I was a pastor, a missionary. Before He asked anything. Before I obeyed.
Before all of that, was love. Pure and simple.
And that's what this is about. What it's always been about and what it will always be about.
Carrying that love.
Exuding that love.
Representing well that love.
Anywhere He might lead.
Anywhere we might land.
In the moments when I adore the life we are living.
And more importantly in the moments when I don't.
And so these are the things I am telling myself right now.