Friday, February 03, 2012

This post was written on February 1st, 2012 - while riding a bus to Cappadocia from Konya. 

Snow is an interesting thing.

I mean, growing up in California, the most I ever saw was up in the mountains for winter camp, and that one time in 1st grade when we got about an inch of snow over night and I’m pretty sure Dinuba shut down because it was so shocking no one knew what to do.

But - I have seen more snow in these past two days than I have for most of my life. The initial drive to Konya, which in fact was our longest drive out of this two week trip, was through a very heavily covered mountain pass. I’ve decided on either calling it a “winter wonderland” or “narnia” or a combination of the two. I have never seen as much snow as I have over the last 48 hours. 

It is amazingly beautiful - unlike anything I have ever seen. Driving by small towns, covered by snow, minarets poking out into the skyline toped with a pure, smooth, white cover, it is stunning. I can’t express the emotions I feel when I am surrounded by so much of God’s beauty, in a country where 99% of the residents do not acknowledge Christianity as their religion - the fact that I am finding God so present here is amazing. It brings to mind a common song that moves me so much at home, and is proving to be just as moving here.

What can wash away my sin? 
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh precious is the flow,
That makes me white as snow.
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

I am currently writing this as we bus out to Cappadocia for our last few nights on tour. We are staying in a cave hotel. Yes, a cave hotel. Can life get anymore cooler? No, not really. Only halfway through week four, and I have seen so much of the world and there is still so much more to come. I am being moved by what I am seeing, and I am going to see so much more before I am done.

On a more personal note, I have felt myself growing so much recently. Not in a physical manner, because it would be both shocking and unnecessary if I showed back up in the states over 6’. Spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. Like I said in my previous entry, I am letting issues and frustrations from back home sit on the back burner while I am away, and that is perhaps the best decision I could have made prior to leaving for this trip. I am finally making decisions for myself, enjoying life for myself, and not for someone who isn’t interested in where I am right now.

It is as if I have let go of everything I have been holding onto so tightly. The people, the problems, the fears that have been wrapped up so close in my closed fists, that I carry with me wherever I go regardless if they constantly plague my mind - I have finally opened my hands and released all that I wanted to carry with me into this trip. Every small slip inside my fists have blown away in the wind back to my home, and I turned the opposite way and walked into this trip with my head held high and my mind clear. Knowing that this is the only way I can truly grow and experience. I had to let it go. I had to let it all go.

I am letting the wind blow me where it may this season. Forgetting past expectations, future hopes and understanding that as long as I earnestly seek after the Lord and His plan for my life, He will lead me to where I need to be. As simple as that sounds, it isn’t. I want something to make everything make sense, a stroke of understanding that would allow me fully see why pain and frustration exists in my life, something to let me know this is what I needed to go through, what I needed to hear. However, there is nothing I can hold onto that would make this easier, a faster process, or more understandable for me. 

It is a tightrope of trust that I walk, where my eyes look below to what troubles me, to what worries me, to what I want to hold so tightly in my fists, to have a place I know and I have control over, to be “safe” by my own definition, to be “happy” by my own definition, to be “loved” by my own definition - and the whole time all I have to do is look up and see my Savior beckoning me forward and constantly telling me, “You are safe. You are loved. You are fine.”

I am safe.
I am loved
I am fine. 

And so, the journey continues.

“Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe. Sin had cast a crimson stain, he washed me white as snow.”

Respectfully submitted,