Saturday, October 06, 2007

no man's land.

I'm writing this blog as somewhat of a liaison linking "letting go" and "crawling from comfort" (soon to come). In the last blog I referred to several places like "bangladesh" and "no man's land" as an analogy for spiritual/emotional places we might find ourselves in from time to time. I feel compelled to take you deeper in my thoughts, to re-visit these places in my mind... only this time take you with me. Where I'm gonna take you is not going to be the easiest place for you to visit, but in the end will prove significant and possibly life-changing. Last June my team of 7 visited our third country and perhaps the hardest... Bangladesh. It was hard for several reasons... Spiritually, I felt the most oppression i've ever felt in my life. I'd never been quite effected by the enemy in this way, but the weight of evil in that place was so thick to me that i could almost see it. As I dealt physically with this place as well, fear began to set in. I've spoken on fear before and in the future i will reinterate... but i believe fear is deadly. It controls, paralyzes and will make you believe many lies about yourself as well as others. I found myself fearing the very air that kept me alive. Sitting in our dorm one day... alone and scared, I could hear the voices chanting over and over to empty gods. I was at the end of myself. I realized that, at this very moment all of my past had caught up with me and was looking me dead in the face. The past 27 years of my life was at a draw... a standstill... with everything that was to come, my future. I can't quite explain this feeling, other than.. it may have been the most frightening day of my whole life. And at this very second mustered up all the courage that was within to lift my head.. and through my tears i saw a picture of Jesus, my Savior. He was looking down at me with compassion and truth. He was saying... "I hold the answer". The answer was Him. I was to let it all go, everything... and look to Him. I knew right then, I had felt the Fear of God. I also knew, that i never ever wanted to spend a moment in life without Him.

About a week and a half later, my team pulled out of the "driveway" fully geared up for the next country- india! What we didn't know, was the series of unfortunate events that were to take place during this journey on the washed out roads that lie before us.
Nothing could have prepared us for that day... the longest day of my life. All seven of us, plus a non-english speaking driver, and all of our baggage squeezed into a mini-van designed for a small family with little to no baggage. Seemingly complicated, this problem seemed small in light of what we'd dealt with the past few weeks. Our 4 hour adventure begins.... 4 hours later: 8 hot, sweaty, hungry people are ready to arrive at our destination... and not a minute too soon. 8 hours later: 8 irritated, really hot & sweaty, stinky, hungry people are seriously tired of bumping up and down. Around every corner was the hope of something new.. some evidence of the India border. Our hope soon turned into dissillusionment and dissappointment. Without words, only looks... we all agreed this might have been the worst day of our lives. We also agreed silently that this could be the last day of our lives as well. And at this point, that destiny may have been welcomed by most of us. For those of you who might be wondering... I now know where BFE is, and i never want to go back. I don't think i couldve even find it if i tried. Approx. 11 hours later we have some sort of reason to believe that we've made it to the border.

Yes, this did bring relief... but not for long. This destination only proved to be full of set-backs and unpredicted delays that would keep us vulnerable position for the next several hours. The border police was, financially speaking, making it so hard for us to leave... we actually thought we may be kept in this hellish place much longer than expected. Once we realized the severity of our predicament, we all did what we had to keep our cool and keep our minds off of a potential disaster. Several hours later, after jumping many firey hoops... we were finally given the affirmation to continue on.
We were just about ready to cross the border... when one of our team members, Rae, discovered her camera and phone were missing. We all searched very dilligently for the next 15 minutes or so with no answer other than the possibility it had fallen out somewhere along the bumpy way. Insisting on finding them, our leader kept looking. To our dismay... he discovered these items in the glove compartment covered in an old rag... stolen by our dear deceptive non-english speaking driver. Imagine the betrayel we felt after all we'd been through with this man... and this country. Fortunately for him, God gave us the ability to see this situation from a different perspcetive with our main goal being to get OUT OF THE FREAKIN COUNTRY!

As we walked through no man's land (the land between bangladesh and india, owned by no one), we felt somewhat defeated... yet slightly hopeful. At this point, I just wanted to lie down and die... rather than continue on with 100 pounds of luggage and the man that just stole from us screaming in our faces for more money. Together we kept moving. India looked just as inviting as Bangladesh (not very). Part of me desired to just stand where i was... to stay with what i knew. I was ready to leave, but Bangladesh was awkwardly comfortable to us now. You see, we were leaving a place we knew.. no matter how difficult and miserable for a place we did not know or understand. This is the place I feel so many of us come to in life. We fear change, simply because we do not know what awaits us on the other side. My encouragement for all of us is that we continue on... That no matter how comfortable we are... we must welcome change, and embrace what we do not know. This is when God moves. Why? Because we are giving up. We are finally saying that we can not do it on our own, and we need His strenght, His wisdom and His power to not only get us through this "no man's land" but to get us successfully to the other side. It's, again, the processing of letting go, with the faith that what he puts in our hands is way better than what we were holding on to.

Once we were safely in India riding to our next place, we broke. A flood of emotions consumed me... we were free, we were safe... and all along His hand was in this. We looked forward with anticipation, courage, hope and love. And we did not look back. For what we had eternally gained was much more powerful and divine, than anything we ever held on to


Blogger matt said...

This one is amazing Lindsey! I can't believe the driver!!!

5:48 AM  

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