I don't know if many of you have ever felt this way...but my guess is that I am not alone.
I moved back to NC in January of 2020 after living in San Francisco, CA for the last 6/7 years. I made this move intentionally as I had decided in October of 2019 that I would try to move to Nepal in August of 2020. (Still the current goal as I type this). The purpose of this move was to spend some time re-connecting with family and friends that I had only been able to squeeze in a few days with over the cumulative years I had been away before moving indefinitely to another part of the world.
Do you ever notice that you don't always realize what your expectations are until they are not met? Well, that happens to me all the time! I mean...2020 hasn't been the most predictable year so far and some of my unmet expectations were that I would be able to spend a lot of time with family and friends. That I would not fight depression (which has been a battle throughout my life). That I would be strong and confident and content in every situation.
Let me tell you, I started off strong! Fell in love with my job at an Elementary School. Was intentional about scheduling time with people. Found an awesome Church community to be a part of. Thoroughly enjoying my time with Jesus and in the Word. And even though there was actually quite a bit of "negative news" that I received in those first few months, I felt at peace and retained joy most days!
And then quarantine, protests, hate throughout the world, isolation....ALL. THE. THINGS. They overwhelmed me and I shut down more frequently than I care to admit.
It was in this season that I found Nepal quickly approaching. I started thinking about all the times I could have been productive or could have spent time in my Bible, etc....realizing that I was not where I wanted or hoped to be at that time. I believed that God wanted to "punish" me for not having my act together and I thought that would jeopardize what I really felt like was His promise to me....which was that He called me to Nepal over 5 years ago and He was finally sending me.
Simultaneously, I found myself fostering/raising two baby ducks. I wasn't going to name them because I knew I was leaving and didn't want to get attached. Meet Charlie and Odessa!
Anyways, these little ones quickly became one of the highlights of my day....so much personality! And then as they grew, Charlie was attacked by something in the night and couldn't bend his neck or expand his wings. This meant he could not eat. I spoke to several vets and animal rescues and no one expected survival. And so I prayed something like "Lord, I know it's silly, but can you please heal him? He's just a baby and it's not good for ducks to be alone if he were to die...please?"
Well lo and behold, that's exactly what He did! Check out these before/after photos of praying for my little guy! (The first photo was day two of the injury...he was too nervous for me to approach him on the first day). But can you even tell them apart now?!
When I saw that Charlie was better the next morning, it's like I felt God whispering "I still hear you and I still care about the things you care about. I still do miracles. And I STILL keep my promises!"
The following Sunday, I told my pastor's wife about this sweet story. And she said "It's like when the Bible talks about how God cares about the birds of the air....and then you actually know a specific bird that He cares for....and how much MORE does He care for you?" And then her husband shared the same scripture in his message just a few minutes later and had no idea that his wife had just shared that with me. Just overwhelmed at God's kindness!
And so. Remember that God is not confined to our place of well-being. He is consistent and continues to uphold EVERY SINGLE PROMISE that He makes! Not only that, but He cares about you! Such mercy.
"Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" -Matthew 6:26