This last week Pete and I were on the outskirts of the city hiking with our pup, Radley. The sun had almost gone down, and it was so…quiet. One thing that I love about being married to Pete is that we don’t always have to talk. Times we’ve spent together, even in utter silence are times that I treasure.
As we clambered up one of the rocky slopes I was thinking about how good it felt to have an hour free from study. I felt liberated, almost like someone had taken a heavy burden off of my back, at least for a little while. I was a little puzzled as to why I felt this way, but then I realized that in my 29 years of life I can honestly say that learning Spanish is the hardest thing that I have ever done! We have lived here in Mexico for just short of 1 1/2 years and through all the grammar classes, home study, conversation time with people, drilling verbs, listening to recordings, and transcribing there haven’t been alot of moments where I’ve felt like…”Yeah, I can do this.” There have been alot more moments of, “What am I thinking…I can’t do this.” You see, I’m not a “gifted” language learner. I learn at an average pace, I must put in the work to get the results. And that’s when it struck me; I’m constantly scared that I’m not going to be able to speak Spanish at the level in which I need to speak it, and go through each day riding on this wave of fear that pushes me to study harder, and spend more time with people and push, and push, and push….but at the end of the day the reality is truly, that I cannot do it, but it is Christ in me who can.
God did not call me here to Mexico because I am the perfect person for the job. He did not bring Pete and I here because we are both amazing language learners (well…Pete kind of is) and I’m sure God knew that. God did not lead us here after 4 years of training because He thought “Okay, yep now they are ready to live in the middle of nowhere, they are strong enough to make it.” No, it is not because of any of these things that we are here. It is because we were, and still are living stones, selected out of the mucky brook by Christ Himself. He wanted to use us, here in Mexico, to make our lives a sweet sacrifice to His name and for His glory. 1 Peter 2:4-5 says, “And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is [i]choice and precious in the sight of God, 5 you also, as living stones, [j]are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
I am learning something as I walk through this truth day by day, trying to understand it more. I am learning that God’s timing is perfect, and His plan for me is so much greater than anything I could have imagined or created for myself. Yet, it doesn’t always mean that I will be naturally be good at it. That I will enjoy every moment of the journey, that I won’t struggle or be discouraged, or scared, or wonder if I can do it or not. That isn’t a perk of following Jesus. However, through the times of pain, there is true fulfillment as I seek His face. And in the discouragement, failure, and fear that I walk through I get the amazing privilege of knowing Him on a deeper level than I ever could have experienced before. I learn to know Him as Father, the one who comforts me (Is. 49:13, 2 Cor. 1:3, 2 Cor. 7:6), the Word of Life that revives my soul (Ps.119:50), my strength and shield in whom I can trust (Ps. 28:7, 29:11), my protector through my faith in Him through all the trials and storms of life and my perfector when He comes again (1 Peter 1:3-9).
There is no where else, no matter how challenging, where I would rather be, than here in Mexico, in the mighty hands of my Jesus.