Brrr! Paris is cold and we aren’t even fully into winter yet. (insert FEAR) we are in our new apartment!! We couldn’t be more excited and thankful to be in our home, to unpack all of our suitcases, hang our clothes, and just settle into our place. Scott and I still look at each other in disbelief that the Lord provided such a perfect place for us. We are one block from another married couple on our team, we have a metro stop within a couple minute walk, a market within a 5 minute walk, grocery stores, all purpose stores, and boulangeries! (let’s be real, that’s the most important!) So, I’d say this is a huge step in helping us feel more at home here. I think it’ll always be tough to feel fully “at home” but this definitely helps. Asher has space to run more, his toys have their place, we can hang our family photos up, and put our personal touch on it. It’s fun!
The last week or so has been good. Honestly, I feel like time here is going pretty quickly, but I can’t let myself think in terms of months. I get a little overwhelmed thinking about how many more days and months we will be here. I wouldn’t say I’m counting down the days by any means, but each new month causes you to think.
Sometimes I struggle with what to write on here. I want to be honest about how I’m doing here, and share what the Lord is teaching me and us while we are here, but sometimes I can’t even gather my thoughts and put them into anything understandable. Today in John I read about abiding in Christ. What does that mean, that idea of abiding? How am I doing with abiding in Christ when some days everything in my day to day life seems crazy and exhausting? Do I abide in Christ when my circumstances are going well or do I abide in him when I feel lost and extra needy? Later in the chapter it says, abide in me because apart from me you can do nothing. Ok, so abiding isn’t circumstantial. period. Abiding is an all day every day active choice I have to make. I need to abide when I am happy, sad, frustrated, feeling lonely, feeling excited and thankful. I need to know who my creator is and I need to know that he is the branch and I am in the vine. He is pruning me and stripping off dead branches and leaves that are barely hanging on. Things in my heart that prevent me from fully abiding. From fully allowing him control in my heart. I know that I am not doing well in this. I do not abide in Christ all of the time. Most of the time I am relying on myself. I can do this, or I can do that is a mentality I constantly have to hush.
I wrote in my journal that I wanted to be honest with the Lord. He already knows anyway, right? But there’s something about confession, about sharing my thoughts and struggles out loud or on paper with him that breaks down any walls or barriers that keep me from really being truly honest. I want him to know that I am feeling lonely and that I get sad a lot. That there are days when I feel like I’m barely hanging on because I feel lost and exhausted. I want him to know that I am quick to be angry. That I am harsh in my heart towards others. That I am greedy and love material things. That I use buying things to gloss over what my heart is truly experiencing or a sin that needs to be dealt with. Like I said, he knows this about me. He knows my sin, and yet still loves me, still accepts me. Praise him for that! I am so glad that he doesn’t keep a list of my wrongs.
Two girls placed their faith in Christ a couple of weeks ago! This is huge for Paris. Something that doesn’t happen very often is a student trusting Christ. Then two in one week made that decision. The two girls actually were introduced to each other and from a teammate it sounded like it was twins that had been reunited for the first time after being separated their whole lives! They couldn’t believe that someone their age in Paris had the same thoughts, feelings, desires, and voids in their hearts! They shared their stories with each other and both couldn’t believe how much their stories resembled each other. Isn’t God so good to give us other believers to encourage us in this journey? I know I’d be lost without people in my life who’ve invested in me, asked me good questions, challenged me, helped me examine my own heart and helped me see more of God. Pray for these two girls! Pray for their time in the word, for protection against the enemy who wants to steal and destroy this new found hope and satisfaction, and pray against persecution from family as one girl has left the Muslim faith.
Thanks for reading and being a part of our days here in Paris. We are thankful for every prayer.