I have spent many hours on this balcony. Sitting, praying, reading, meditating, crying, praising, singing, and yes, even dancing. This has been my place. Where I have gone for the last two years to read His word and spend time in His presence.
I arrived in China broken. My heart had been broken and quite honestly, I was not in a good place. Looking back, I'm not even sure how I made it to China. I did not have the emotional energy to pour into raising support for an indefinite amount of time or the motivation to continue pressing on. But that is the amazing part of our faith journey, God never gives us more than we can handle. Yes, it may be more than we as human beings can handle but never more than He can handle. It is by God's grace, that I even made it to China. Because it is definitely not something that I did by my own power.
As I embark on a new journey in just a few short weeks, I can't help but sit here with my mug of coffee in hand, and reflect. Reflect back on this journey the Lord has taken me on the last two years. It was painful and heartbreaking and there were many tears involved. But that is how He brought me to the place I am today. And to the person I am today. We journeyed together through the mess of my life, and through those broken places He brought healing. He brought healing on this balcony where I would spend hour upon hour with Him. He brought me healing through the love I poured onto my precious children. And He brought healing to me in this country which I have called home for the last 27 months.
Many people have asked me why I'm leaving China. And honestly, there are many reasons. The main and most important reason is that I feel as though my time is done here for this season. Forever? Maybe or maybe not. At this point I have no idea, but I know for this season, He is calling me back to the US. Another reason is that I truly believe that God called me to this place to heal my heart. To take the broken pieces of my heart and to put it back together.
Am I healed? From that specific situation, I would say yes. There are still days when memories come up and the pain that is attached to those memories surface. But then I remember all that He has done in my heart and in my life here. And I can't help but be thankful. And smile. And smiling, is something that in May 2011, I didn't think I would ever do again. At least not from my heart.
China has been a place of healing. A place of taking my mess of a life and putting it back together. That doesn't mean life won't be hard. It doesn't mean that there won't be more struggles and pain and heartaches to journey through. But I know He goes before me and I know that He leads me through the waters and is always there to catch me when I fall.
"When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel,
I will always look back on this season of my life in China, and see a place of healing.