In 2019 just before I left San Francisco for some family time in NC before moving to Nepal, my best friend gifted me a necklace that said "Nevertheless, she persisted." At the time, no one on the planet could have guessed what the next 18 months would hold and how much I would need that little piece of encouragement throughout my journey! But it has acted almost like a prophetic banner over my life recently.
According to my plans and timeline, I was supposed to be boarding a plane for Nepal today. I would have been working hard this morning to hug as many people as I could before my 2-day trip across the world!
But something so ABUNDANTLY clear is that once again, my timeline and God's were not the same. It's so surreal that this is happening again, but during my visit home, a week before I was supposed to leave, Nepal announced another lockdown (which as of today, has been extended until May 31st) which means flights are canceled until after this date. And with India and Nepal (countries who share what is called a porous border...meaning citizens from each country may come and go as they please without a passport to the neighboring country) continuing to have record-high COVID cases and deaths, it is expected that this lockdown could drag out.
I have done everything in my power that I can do. My visa is secured. My flights have been booked (though I am awaiting their response on when I can re-book). I even got vaccinated (a HUGE deal for this needle-phobic human!) against COVID-19. I know with certainty that there is nothing left in MY power that can be done.
And sure, there is a temptation to stress because the unknown definitely stirs that up in us! But if there is anything I learned during this similar situation last year, it is that there is SO much joy to be had when you focus not on what you are missing out on, but what you can be PRESENT for! I am overwhelmed when I realize that God, in His KINDNESS, has allowed me to be present in America for some pretty pivotal moments in the lives of my family and friends. I have been allowed to foster relationships IN PERSON and am filled with so much life from them! And I will be equally thankful to do that again in Nepal!
For most of my life, I have wrestled with being a bit of a control freak. It's not my most favorite attribute and it is something I have worked hard to overcome throughout my life. And yet, God KNOWS I cannot overcome it on my own, and in His grace towards me, allows me to go through situations that have left me at a beautiful, much-needed place of surrender. Situations like not knowing which country I will be in 3 weeks from now!
There is so much going on. More than I can calculate for sure. In the world. In Nepal. In my family. In my SOUL! I simultaneously have zero expectations and yet an abundance of hope for the future!
The other day, I spotted two starlings flying carefree across a beautiful clear blue sky. It reminded me of Matthew 10 and even though the context was different, I was still encouraged remembering, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows." (verses 29-31).
So to my dear brothers and sisters, if you find yourselves in a place like me where everything in your world is out of your control, remember that Yahweh, the Lord of ALL, has not lost His grip. He sees and knows you and values you deeply! May you find rest and peace in trusting HIS will to unfold before our eyes. Keep being persistent!