Growth

6 Feb

Over the past year, I have grown in many ways.

I have grown as a person. I have grown to become more independent. I have grown to realize who I am in Christ.

The first two were a struggle, but the last has been more of a battle.

Moving to a country where you are not able to speak with anyone, you are not able to read anything and you are not able to basically communicate has been hard. It has been frustrating at times. It has been hilarious. It has also been character building.

Yes, there are a few churches here in Sendai. I only know of one that has an English service. It is rather small. There are about 20 or 30 people who attend that church. Most of the people who attend that church are also my coworkers.

If you don’t know this about me, I am a person that needs to have one outlet of separation. I need to be able to breathe. Working with the same people all of the time and also having those people as my friends is great. I love them don’t get me wrong. But also including those people in the spiritual part of my life is a little rough. I feel like I am drowning and I cannot breathe.

I found a church that I attend online, Table Rock Fellowship. They are awesome. They have the worship and sermon broadcasted over the web. I feel like that is an outlet for me to be able to breathe. I am able to talk to some people who also attend online and they are praying for me and encouraging me. I love it. Today, I logged on and was waiting for the service to start but nothing was happening. I guess that they were having a problem broadcasting overseas. They told me that they were going to switch web providers because it wasn’t working and their purpose for having it online is so that everyone all over the world would be able to “attend” church. I definitely felt loved.

Back to being in Japan….

There was a period that I didn’t open my Bible for 3 or so months. There was no one who asked me how my walk was going. What I was learning. I don’t have a community group or anyone to help hold me accountable. This was rough. It still is. I know that satan is using other things to distract me from opening God’s Word and reading about Him. He does this through scheduling my time with skype dates, talking on facebook chat or reading peoples blogs.

Some days I hate my computer because I feel like it sucks up an entire morning, which is usually what it does.

I have had my faith shaken to the core. I feel like I had a pretty good pillar of faith before I moved to Japan. Now, I feel like I just have the foundation. Thankfully, I still have the foundation and I am able to work on building my faith back up again. I wish I could just jump to where I was before I left for Japan. But, it won’t happen like that. I have to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. It takes time.

After all of this rambling, I am just asking one thing well maybe two.

1. Would you please pray for me? Pray that I will be disciplined to open my Bible and read it and hear what the Lord is wanting to teach me.

2. Will you help keep me accountable? Ask me how I am doing. Ask me what I have learned. Don’t be afraid to reprimand me.

Thanks friends!

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2 Responses to “Growth”

  1. hannahruthie February 6, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    I love this and I hate this. I know this battle is strengthening your faith in such great ways even if it seems impossible to see it now because you’re right in the middle of it. But just being at this spot is a place of learning to seek God in different circumstances. Only he knows where he will eventually call you on the mission field, and maybe this time right now is in preparation for that.

    I also hate this because I feel like a failure as your friend. We started out doing our Bible study and then it slowly faded. It shouldn’t have faded. We both have time, even if it seems like we struggle to deal with time zones and living in the future/past. I have been struggling in my faith a lot recently and I have been realizing how important it is to have 1) community 2) other Christian women supporting us. We can make time. It is so necessary.

    I also hate this because I hate how Satan is so enticing… it’s a slow fade. I bet you weren’t reading your Bible diligently every day and then stopped suddenly for 3 months. Slowly things crept in. And slowly we stop talking about it and let it become normal. We let our state define us and sink into the lies that it’s our own struggle. If only people could see our hearts and they would see so much more struggle, so many more battles than we let them see. When our struggles are out in the open is when they are defeated. We need that community to help us fight.

    And I’m so glad you posted this Mal because I think it’s time we start our study again.

  2. Alece February 21, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

    I’m in a similar place, Mal. My eyes filled just reading your words. I get it. So I don’t have many words for you. Just want you to know that in some way, I understand.

    Last week Ioved out to OR. I’m living with the Hodges. In fact I’ve been running the chat for the 1130 online service. Not sure what time you’re usually able to watch, but I’d love to worship with you if it works out.

    Hugging you tight.

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