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?