I'm home. Back from Nepal, from Trust Home, from the journey God took me on over the 9/10 days I was gone. It was definitely time to come home. Back to real life, back to responsibilities, back to fitting the lessons into a day-to-day living. That last one will likely be the hardest. Or at least, from this vantage point, it feels like it will be.
We arrived at Trust Home after 36 hours of travel and experiencing some interesting things. From having to read a book called "The Jewish Enemy" (about Nazi propaganda in WWII) in an Arab nation's airport; landing in Kathmandu and being unable to breathe (just me being allergic to the air in Kathmandu, apparently); mystery sausage (either chicken or goat); a 6 hour drive turning into an 11 hour day which included sitting on the side of the road for 4 hours in traffic; to arrival at Trust Home where the headlines shone on 71 smiling faces so excited to meet and greet their new "Aunties." Those are just some of the things we learned, saw and experienced in the first 36 hours from leaving Lynchburg. It's going to take a awhile to process it all, so, I ask your patience as I work through trying to write about it all.
A lot of people who go on these kinds of trips have purpose and reason for going. All I knew was God prompted, provided and pushed me out the door when it came to this trip. Not that I did not want to go, quite the contrary, but I had no idea what God wanted for me to do there or even learn. In one of my first journal entries on the trip, I even wrote "God, I don't know why you even have me here," in a moment of resignation. Truth is, my greatest fear was that God wouldn't do with me or show me anything while I was there. I was afraid - terrified, actually - that this trip would just be a trip and nothing more. I wanted something from God. It didn't take Him long to come through for me, but it was quite different than what I expected.
I mentioned in posts before I left that the theme of life was about resting in God amid the busy schedule of life. I thought maybe that the point of all that resting was to be able to jump into action when we arrived. I could not have been more wrong. This trip was all about pushing more deeply into rest, silence and quietness. And a whole lot of not doing but being. This might seem counter-intuitive. It did to me. With a leadership bend in me, sitting back in observation, silence and solitude is not really what is natural for me. Which is why this trip was so important in my own life. It was all about doing what is not natural in me.
On the flight from Doha to Kathmandu, God planted a verse deep in my heart regarding what He was up to in my heart. "This is what the LORD says: And I will extend peace to her like a river..." Is. 66:12a This verse lined up with several verses and things people had spoken over me in the few days prior to leaving. When I read that verse, I knew that was something God was getting ready to plow deep into my heart. I went to bed our first night in Kathmandu with that ringing in my ears. The following morning after breakfast, Shea handed me a slip of paper that had this on it:
Amanda - God has taken me to Isaiah 30:15 as I pray over you and I wanted to share it with you. "this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Only in returning to me and resting in Me will you be saved. In quietness and trust is your strength." God has you here for this, to rest in Him and find your strength in Him. I'm praying for you! <3 Shea.
The trip was that. A place where I discovered rest, but more than that. I had my eyes opened in the silence and rest that mature faith, strong faith is a quiet faith. Watching younger believers on this trip, I saw a lot of "noise" - voices in their heads, fretting, stresses, pushing back against God, working, busy-ness, moving, etc. Contrasting that with the faith and leadership of Dolma, Shea & recalling those I respect and honor as deeply mature believers at home (like my Mom & older brother), I saw stillness, quietude, silence, and peace. A mature faith is a quiet faith.
Things started clicking in my heart right away, as God did not wait until the end of the trip to speak, but gave me His heart for me in this trip in the beginning. He didn't stop emphasizing this either. After Shea gave me that note, our drive to Pokhara took us on an 11 hour drive through the mountains all the way beside a river-road. We followed the course of the river almost the entire way. When we arrived at Trust Home, my assigned room was right beside the canal as it poured into a small outlet and so for the 4 days we were at Trust Home, I heard nothing but rushing water in my room. And the rest of the week was puzzling through the concept of "peace like a River" - when Rivers appear anything but peaceful at times (rapids, waterfalls, etc).
On that note, I will wrap up this first post but God did something in me deeply showing me and growing something of a quieter faith in my heart than I had the day I left. Now as I've come home, the challenge is to live that out.