Hello My Name Is

This week our theme is “Prepare,” and we’re walking together with those preparing for change, especially those heading overseas for the first time.  Today we have Kayla Lemon sharing from her heart the emotions she’s experienced as she’s recently transitioned overseas.

*****

I love going to an event where they hand me that beloved sticker that says, “Hello, my name is ____________________.” It’s my favorite thing to receive… or not so much. To be honest, I hate wearing stickers. It’s a pet peeve of mine. It gets caught in my hair, it never stays on my shirt, and sometimes I feel like I could be whoever I wanted to be by simply putting another name in that spot. Call me weird, but it’s just never something I really have loved. However, as much as I hate them, I still wear them… but not in a literal sense.  Over the past few weeks and months, I feel like I’ve been wearing those stickers. I feel like I’ve had one slapped on my forehead every morning. This lovely little invisible sticker is only seen by me and those perceptive enough to notice.

Hello, my name is WEARY.
I’ve been so tired. Exhaustion has been my constant companion for the past few days. I haven’t been sleeping well and when I do sleep, it’s just a restless sleep–tossing and turning, waking up often throughout the night. I have so much ramming around in my brain. I long to just find the “off” switch for my brain, but unfortunately, I don’t think one exists. What have I been thinking about you ask? I couldn’t honestly tell you. My head is just full. So many thoughts swirling around.

Hello, my name is OVERWHELMED.
Culture can be insanely overwhelming. Transition can be overwhelming. Life can be overwhelming. Some days I just feel like I’m completely in over my head, drowning in my day to day life. Take my first trip to the grocery store here. That was overwhelming. So much so, that I stood in the middle of the aisle surrounded by more noodles than I knew what to do with and just cried. Walking out and about around China has a tendency to be overwhelming. Going to Walmart, I’ve now started the habit of carrying my iPod with me. The first few times I went alone, I walked out, my head just pounding from the sensory overload my poor brain was experiencing. I was so overwhelmed by the noise and the constant chatter of the language I am just now starting to learn. (Thankfully, I now can go to the grocery store, without tears, and find a few basic things I need to survive.)

Hello, my name is PURSUED.
I never thought I would feel pursued by God. How wrong I was. After drifting my senior year, I was felt lost after graduation. My walk with my Father was stagnant. I was unhappy, restless, and not at peace. My soul was being crushed by the waves. I had lost sight of the One who calms the wind and the waves and got wrapped up in how terrifying the waves looked and resigned myself to succumbing to the waves. I had to be taken over 6000 miles away from home to where I was completely alone in order to really realize all I had to do was look up. I just had to look up into the eyes of my Father. When I finally looked up, I realized that no matter how far I had been running, He had been pursuing me with a relentless passion. He pursued me like a man pursues the woman he loves, only His pursuit was one that did not falter when I tried to push away. He has been pursuing me and I have been falling more and more in love with Him.

Hello, my name is BELOVED.
I have been learning what it means to be a beloved one of the King. Last summer, I learned this lesson, but good lessons are not ones we typically learn once and are done with. I had to be reminded that no matter my failings, I am beloved. I am loved with a passionate and relentless love. No matter how far I go, no matter how far I fall, I am beloved and when I return to the One who holds my heart, He will always welcome me back into His loving arms.

I am blown away by what I have been through in this last month of transition. While everything else feels like chaos around me, there has been One who has been so constant. I am so thankful for that constant. He continually reminds me that: My name is DAUGHTER OF THE KING. I am PURSUED and BELOVED.

“He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress where I will never be shaken.”
– Psalm 62:2

What would be on your name tag these days?

22 Comments

  1. Debbie July 16, 2014

    Hello, my name is stressed. My husband and I are leaving the organization we were a part of in South Africa for 3 years and returning to the states. Our visas are expired and we would like to have them before we leave. Just got a call today that they lost all my paperwork and a paper of my husbands is missing. It took visits to numerous banks to finally find someone who could transfer our money here into our state account. We are waiting to see if it actually made it there. So much to do by Aug. 2! Then only the Lord knows what is ahead for our future.

    1. Amy Young July 18, 2014

      Wow Debbie! It sounds like your name could be “Hello my plate is FULL.” Will be remembering all of the details!

      1. Kayla Lemon July 21, 2014

        Yikes! Your plate is definitely indeed full. Hoping all of the details fall into place for you. 🙂

  2. Kimberley Streeter July 16, 2014

    TORN.  On Sunday I return to the US after 3 years of serving in the DR.  I am leaving home to go back home.  I am leaving family and friends to return to family and friends.  I am leaving a life I love to go back to a life I used to love.

    Will I fall back in love with it?  Will it love me?

    I am returning with a husband from here who has never been there.

    Will he love it?  Will people give him the chance to love him or will he face prejudice just because he’s not from there?

    As I wrote on my blog today, I always knew being a M meant choosing to live in more than one world, and never feeling completely comfortable in any.  But, knowing it doesn’t take away the hurt of living it.

    I know I have grown through being torn before, and so God can use this new season of tearing, too.  But, OUCH, it feels bad right now!

    1. Amy Young July 18, 2014

      I so appreciate this comment Kimberly! There IS much we can get used to, but that doesn’t diminish the pain :). Feeling the OUCH with you. And will be remembering your transition (and your husbands too!!!)

    2. Kayla Lemon July 21, 2014

      Hoping and praying your transition home is as smooth as it possibly can be. I can’t imagine all of the emotions involved. God’s season of tearing hurts a lot, but at the end of it all, somehow we are stronger for it. Thankful for God’s grace in it all.

  3. HisFireFly July 16, 2014

    I too wear all those names

    now in our own intense season of preparation

    less than 5 weeks until the culture shock of life in sub-saharan Africa

    this series on prep couldn’t have come at a better time

    I have often said these past few months

    that I feel my brain is plastered with sticky notes

    sleep is fractured and days filled with paperwork and packing

    but He is in control, calling us, loving us

    1. Amy Young July 18, 2014

      HFF, I love the phrase “calling and loving us.” Here’s asking for more sleep and for a peace that passes understanding to pervade your home!

    2. Kayla Lemon July 21, 2014

      I had to laugh a little at the sticky notes on your brain idea. 🙂 There are weeks I think my mind’s wall is covered with them and I still don’t think I can keep it all straight. Thinking of you as you pack, prep and begin a move to Africa…. and here’s to hoping you’re finding the rest you need, spiritual or physical or mental in the coming days.

  4. Elizabeth July 17, 2014

    WEARY. Yes. I’m not discouraged, but I am weary. And I don’t think fatigue and weariness are limited to the early months of culture shock and intense language learning. No matter how disciplined we are to get enough sleep, it’s still never enough. Either because we WEREN’T disciplined and went to bed too late, or because what sleep we did get was restless, no matter how early we went to bed or how late we slept in. I just never sleep well anymore. And we’ve been here 2 1/2 years. Always so, so tired. We’ve talked to other m’s who say the same thing, can’t get good sleep here. Don’t know why. So we drink a lot of coffee. . .

    1. Amy Young July 18, 2014

      In a class I took on M life and care — they shared a stat that the amount of stress M’s are under is (I’m too lazy to go and check my notes … but I am in the ball park!), five times of that of an inner city cop in the US. That level of stress simply IS going to be exhausting. I don’t know about you, but I find I tend to sleep better when I’m not at home which seems so backwards!

    2. Kayla Lemon July 21, 2014

      Amy’s comment definitely resonated with me and reminded me of how stressful life can be. I’m thankful for your honesty and your reminder that we don’t just experience stress and a feeling of overwhelming emotions when we are first entering a country… it’s a constant wave. I wrote this blog a year ago, and here I sit a year later, feeling and dealing with some of the same “names.”

  5. Kristi July 17, 2014

    Your Name…

    My name is Weary

    Weary of

    Change

    Saying good-bye

    Saying hello

     

    Your name is Mighty

    Mighty to

    Establish

    Being my Father

    Being my Friend

     

    My name is Confused

    Confused about

    Direction

    Asking why

    Asking how

     

    Your name is Purpose

    Purposing my

    Path

    Leading me forward

    Leading me upward

     

    My name is Longing

    Longing for

    Peace

    Seeking truth

    Seeking freedom

     

    Your name is Fullness

    Filling my

    Heart

    Giving me wisdom

    Giving me joy

     

    My name is Fearful

    Fearful of

    Failure

    Running from You

    Running from me

     

    Your name is Faithful

    Faithful to

    Love

    Restoring our fellowship

    Restoring my soul

     

    1. Amy Young July 18, 2014

      Kristi, your name is beloved poet and prophet.

  6. MaDonna July 17, 2014

    I’d have to say that my name would be Weary. We’ve been living in Taiwan for around 8 years now, but the past few have been tough and I’m weary. Learning to rest in Him and to “be still”. Thanks for sharing today!

    1. Amy Young July 18, 2014

      I think Weary is one we can all relate to on some level :). Glad you shared with us!

  7. Brittany July 18, 2014

    “Feeling Misplaced”

    I know I’m not.  This is right where I’m supposed to be.  But after 9 months, I still don’t feel like I fit in here.  I feel like we all (my hubby and two boys) would just be better of if we just went “home”.  Now I’m expecting baby #3 and will be going back to the States for a few months.  I’m afraid I won’t want to come back even though I know beyond any doubt this is where we are supposed to be.  And God has been more than gracious and poured out His extravagant love on me since I’ve been here!  I see Him, I feel Him, and that makes me feel so guilty for not wanting to be here right now.  =(

    1. Kayla Lemon July 21, 2014

      Oh Brittany, I wish I could just give you a hug and just sit with you. While I don’t have a family, I know what the feeling of being misplaced. My entire last year was that feeling, but I had to keep coming back to exactly what you said… this is where I’m supposed to be at the moment. It’s so hard, but I’m so glad to hear you are persevering through. Hope your last few months where you are before returning to the States are filled with moments of “I fit here…” and “I belong.”

  8. Angie July 28, 2014

    My name is Wondering. Will we move overseas for a term? If so, which of the 2 places that we’re considering? Will my husband ever get around to writing that e-mail he keeps saying he’s going to write that might help us decide? Is God sending us or do we just want to go? Is it okay for us to go if we feel like God has given us the desire or do we need to see evidence to trust that desire? Will it really be worth it – not just for our family but for our supporters as well? Is transitioning overseas the best use of our time, talents, and finances? So, yeah, my name is definitely Wondering…

  9. ErinMP July 29, 2014

    This post was so helpful, thank you! Checking out your blog to (similar-ish story in that I just graduated and moved from my small home town to teach at an international school in Thailand. Still learning the language so I only leave the school area a little bit at a time–with my ipod in tow–and practice my few phrases on the poor unsuspecting populace).

    1. Kayla Lemon July 29, 2014

      Erin, I’m so glad you were able to connect with my post. 🙂 Thanks for checking out my blog too! I’m posting a new one in the next day or two. Hoping your language learning goes better than mine has. Mandarin is killing me. 🙂 Ha. Oh the poor unsuspecting populace we practice on.

  10. ErinMP July 30, 2014

    Thank you! Yeah I think tonal languages are the hardest, when you were raised with English anyway (or any of the Romantic languages, I assume, where inflection is emotion, not vocabulary!). I love the way Thai sounds, but I know it’ll take me forever to get there! Best of luck for Mandarin, praying!

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