Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Work in Progress

I was thinking the other day while I was on the train, "Why do I love Taiwan?" I was thinking about all of the things that are so easy to not like about this place... but yet I still love it. I love the people, I love the opportunities, I love the kids... and yes, I love the country. I love the way that the Lord shows me how to love the people here. I love the way that He shows me that its not about me... and that its ALL about Him. I love how He shows me different things about myself... some good... and other quite to the contrary.
At the end of last semester, I was counting down the days until I would return home. But when I got home, there was a piece of my heart that was missing. That piece was left in Taiwan. Don't get me wrong, every second I was home I loved. I loved that I got to see my family and friends. I liked not having to wake up early every morning. I liked that there was food that I was familiar with. I liked that I could read signs and understand what they were talking about. I liked how I could understand what people were saying when they would talk to me. But one of the first things I remember thinking when I got home was, "how long until I go home?"
You know how the old saying goes, "home is where the heart is," well... my heart is in two places... so where is my home? I know that there will always be a home for me where my parents are... because they just love me like that. But, for now, the Lord has my heart in Taiwan. Why? Well, to tell you the truth, I really have no clue. But I know that this is where the Lord has me. He has me here to love... and to learn to be loved.
Before I went home for the summer, I was working doing some summer English camps. We were going through a particularly hard time, and I was reading my Bible one morning. And I had been working through the book of Isaiah. And I came to this passage and it stuck with me. I had been praying that the Lord would give me a vision for the coming year. One of my friends called them "marching orders." :-) But I came across this passage that I believe that the Lord was using as my "marching orders." It says,

"Thus saith God the Lord, He that created the heavens and stretched them out; He that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it, He that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein. I the Lord have called thee in righteousness and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light to the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house."
Isaiah 42:5-7

Me being in Taiwan is an amazing opportunity. I am SO grateful for it. And even though I am here as an English teacher, I can still show the love of our awesome God by the way I live my life. And the way that I love. One thing that I felt like the Lord was asking me after showing me this verse was, "Are you willing to hold my hand?" When I think of holding hands, I think of relationships and especially couples. There is not doubt in ones mind that they are in love. There is not doubt that they have an awesome relationship. But God was asking me if I was willing to make it known to the world that I was holding His hand. That I loved Him beyond a shadow of a doubt. He says that He will never leave us or forsake us... that being the same for me, I should never leave Him or forsake Him.
Guys, the Lord is at work in Taiwan. He is raising up many people that love Him and want to make Him known. I am SO encouraged that I get to work at a school where the principle is a 4th generation Christian. She loves the Lord and love kids... the same that I wish could be said about me.
So I guess, in the end, I love Taiwan... because God loves Taiwan... and He has put a love in my heart for this amazing country. And because of this, my heart is a work in progress. I pray the Lord will always be working on it... and helping me to love more... and not just people... but most of all... Him.