Honestly I had no plans of making another blog post after I got home but I feel led to write about how the last two weeks have been being back in the great US of A.
It didn’t quite sink in that I was truly home until last Wednesday. I opened up my prayer journal for the first time since I had been back. For some weird reason I just didn’t want to open it because I knew that when I did I would be reminded of where my heart was at in London. That scared me because I had no idea where my heart was at here. Reading the things I had written in London, Belgium, and Holland made me smile, cry, and just rejoice at how faithful God had been through one of the most testing seasons of my life.
It also made me see how much I was struggling spiritually being at home. This might sound weird but when I arrived back in Katy I immediately saw that everything was almost exactly the same as I had left it.
It seemed as if I had never left.
No really, I honestly wondered if I ever left and spent 3 months of my life overseas. It was so crazy. If anything I had prepared myself for change. I was mentally prepared to be faced with a new town and my family and friends lives being changed drastically and that I wouldn’t recognize my own life. Does that make sense?
But I certainly did not prepare for no change at all.
So as I opened up my journal for the first time I began writing and begging God to remind me of what I did in London. I needed to be convinced and shown that I actually had left and it wasn’t just some weird dream I had. So that’s what my Wednesday night looked like.
It wasn’t till the next morning when I was on my way to work I put Kari Jobe’s newest album on shuffle. An album that I listened to daily throughout my time away.
*On a separate note, that album is AMAZING. Yall. I can’t even describe how much Kari’s music has affected me. Please please go listen to it if you haven’t already!*
So as I listened to this album for the first time in a few weeks I was floored by the memories that I had attached to those songs. Which song helped me through which event and the memories of Belgium and Holland, all wrapped up into this album.
That’s when it fully hit me that I was back and that I felt very much alone.
How do I begin to carry over what I had learned in London and how do I make it apply to my life here. It’s not easy at all. Where do I begin? How do I begin?
As I cried my way to work I wasn’t crying tears of fear or sadness but I was totally floored with love.
For the first time since I had been back I felt that love that I felt in London. And it felt the same.
I’m laughing at myself right now because I’ve mentally prepared for this for a while now. I have said to myself over and over again that “God doesn’t change. His love remains constant and faithful where ever you are. His love in London is the same in Katy and anywhere else in the world.”
But when I actually felt that, crying in my car, I knew it to be true.
Like I said, I wasn’t crying tears of sadness but of relief and joy at how faithful God was. Just the night before I had asked Him for reassurance in the events of my trip to London.
I felt so crazy excited and unworthy that He would meet me there in my car cruising down I-10.
This morning was my first time being back in church since I got back. I had listened to Kari jobe’s album again and cried…again, on the drive in.
After we sang a few songs Pastor Ryan invited us all to spend a few moments in prayer. I immediately just felt God calling me to pray for someone else. I wasn’t sure who to pray for but just started praying for the church body as a whole. Almost as if right on cue Ryan then asked us to pray for someone around us if we felt led. I immediately noticed an older couple sitting next to me and the wife was already praying out loud and the husband was crying silently. I asked if I could pray for them and when the wife said yes I felt God asking me to pray for any confusion they might have in their lives.
As I continued to pray I just kept getting the word “healing” come to mind. I wasn’t sure if either of them had any illnesses currently but I just asked God that in that moment He would meet them right there and just provide healing whether that be spiritually or physically. After I finished I encouraged the woman and told her that God had given me the word “healing” for them.
She told me that her husband was going through dialysis and that he was really struggling with coping with that. I was so grateful that God had allowed me to pray for them and encourage them in that moment.
As we continued with worship I thanked God for that precious couple and for their faithfulness to worship even during such a hard season.
After the service the woman approached me and she said, “God just wanted me to let you know that this is just beginning and that He is going to use you mightily.”
After we parted ways I just couldn’t shake the feeling of joy and gratefulness at all God had done that morning.
The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of weird (to put it frankly). But for the first time I feel like I’m starting to process and act upon what I learned in London and how I changed spiritually while I was there.
I know this post is super long so props to you if you’ve made it this far! Before I end I just want to share one more thing that has encouraged me so much. Before I left London I prayed a lot about finding God back home in Katy. Would He speak to me differently over there? How do I serve Him back at home?
I was reminded of the last chapter in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis. Many of you are probably firmiliar with this book but for those of you who aren’t this book is part of the Chronicles of Narnia series.
This last chapter shows how Lucy and Edmund learn that they will never travel to Narnia again and now it’s time to start their lives in their world. The text reads:
“Please, Aslan,” said Lucy. “Before we go, will you tell us when we can come back to Narnia? Oh please make it soon!”
“Dearest,” said Aslan very gently, “you and your brother will never come back to Narnia.”
“Oh, Aslan!” said Edmund and Lucy both.
“You are too old, children,” said Aslan, and you must begin to come close to your own world now.”
“It isn’t Narnia, you know.” sobbed Lucy. “It’s you. We shan’t meet you there. And how can we live, never meeting you?”
“But you shall meet me, dear one,” said Aslan.
“Are you there too sir?” said Edmund.
“I am,” said Aslan. “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason you why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”
These last few passages of this book hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt like Lucy leaving Narnia. I didn’t know how to find God back home or if I even could.
Each day being back I’m learning who He is here. Yes He’s the same God and He remains constant but where is He at work in Katy? How is He changing our cities and our hearts here?
It’s a crazy process but it’s amazing to see God’s heart for Katy and mainly, His heart for me.
Although at first I felt like nothing had changed here, now it’s almost like I’m seeing Katy for the first time.