Beautiful Things

Monday, June 13, 2011

Rainy Season Thoughts

We've hit rainy season here in Cote d'Ivoire. It's been a wonderful relief from what felt like an endless summer. It's been a poignant reminder that in God's timing all things are made new and refreshed. The dust is being washed away and everything is growing here. Mont Korhogo stands as a beautiful green monument from the veiw from my street.

I'm feeling refreshed too. As ministry really starts going and we head into our last 4 months, our team is faced with the dreaded question: What about next year? Some will stay another year to continue work and lead the next journeyer group. Some of us will go home to work in our own communities and go back to school. We've hit the point where this question has to be faced. With that comes stress and more questions, like: "God, what am I going to do with my life?!"

I've been learning the lesson of letting go. It's been a rough one and I'm sure it'll be one of those lessons I'll learn over and over again. I'm learning to open my hands and realizing that I was grasping plans and ideas of my own. The rain coming is a relief from the heat and dust, but it also feels like it is washing away all my questions and worry about what's next.

When it rains here, the sound is overwhelming. It's like a symphany of tin cans and a whole herd of cattle dancing over your head. It wakes me up in the middle of the night and puts me to sleep again. It's strangley comforting- I think because my room at my parent's house in California has a vaulted ceiling and no attic space, so the sound of the rain is always louder there. Last Sunday, the rain was coming down so hard that the pastor couldn't continue with the message, he was on the verge of losing his voice at this point, so they brought out the balifones and we danced until the rain calmed down. It was freeing- we were thanking God for this crazy downpour with our voices, with our hands and feet, with our everything!

That's what He wants from us: our everything. Our plans, our ideas, our hopes, our skills, our gifts, our love, our days (all of them). I remember reading a quote from Elisabeth Elliot earier this year; it said something to the effect of: It is in offering what is in our hands that God gives Himself. So I'm learning to hold with open hands, knowing that what God has planned for us is infinitely better than what we can imagine ourselves.

If you get a chance, you should listen to "Always Enough" by Casting Crowns. It was a great reminder of all these things for me this week!


Aaron Bjorklund said...

Naomi, I am so blessed by your encouraging words! We serve an amazing God and when I read your blog it makes me turn my eyes up to Him and praise. Thank you for letting Christ shine through your life!!

Mimi Bjorklund said...

Naomi, thanks for sharing what's going on. I love the rains in Africa and am really looking forward to that unique sound again. I agree that that freshness in the air has a way of reminding us of God's renewing grace and peace. Love it! Keep holding on with open hands. We're praying for all of you in this decision making time.