Friday, November 10, 2017

The First Seventy Days

70 days. 70 Sunsets. It’s hard to believe I’ve been in Taiwan for over two months now! Sometimes the days are long (especially when I’m homesick), but as whole, it’s been a super fast 70 days. Here are a few beautiful things God has been teaching and reminding me of lately.

Peace is a Person.
When life hands you lemons you can make lemonade, but what do you make when life hands you rats and bedbugs? I’ve been discovering (more all the time) that dwelling in Christ makes dwelling in the awkward backbends of life 100% better. When I have confidence I’m where God wants me, there is an insane amount of restful peace in buckling up and facing the rodent problem square in the eyes. (And sometimes the rodents themselves square in the eyes.)
Maybe I was a little nervous about flying to Taiwan for this trip by myself. I had peace, but it was a shaky peace. When I was flying into Taipei, though, I woke up from a nap to realize we were making our descent and grabbed at the window, eager to get my first peek. In my very first glimpse of the country of Taiwan, there was a big rainbow hanging right above it! He who promised is faithful, and He gives peace in the form of Himself! So blessed!

Yes is a way of life.
Saying “yes” to God and being all-in to whatever He wants for you is… kinda scary. Because—news flash—you won’t be able to handle it all. When you’re really willing, He will open so many amazing doors for you and it’s going to feel chaotic and overwhelming and you might cry a lot or else eat Nutella a lot, but keep saying yes. Because when it’s from Him, He will fill in the cracks and spill out over the whole hectic schedule, perfecting every wrong. When you can’t do it all, He can. When you aren’t enough, He is.

Joy is a reality.
This past Sunday I was fully planning on sleeping in until the last possible moment that I needed to get up and get ready for church. (So much sleep deprivation is going on over here it isn’t even funny.) But when I heard all the half-marathon commotion starting up at 5am just outside the school gates, something—I have no idea what, but something—pushed me out of bed, got me dressed and out walking around with the runners, all before 6am. A few hours of cheering later, I was so hoarse and coughing, but I was having too much fun cheering on the runners across the finish line, I couldn’t just give up. I even had an entire cheering team by that point. Some race official guy came up to me and the first thing out of his mouth was, “you’re so happy!” And I couldn’t help but smile bigger. Because if the very solitary reason God nudged me out of bed at 5-whatever in the morning was to tell that man I’m happy because I’m a Christian and I have Jesus in my heart… it was so worth it. Some days life is not just happy, fun, and easy. But with Christ in me, it is always joyful. No matter exhaustion or confusion or discomfort.

It’s never just me.
A few weeks ago I was warm and tired and struggling to stay awake through a Chinese sermon. A mom a few seats away from me leaned over to her daughter who was playing a game on her phone and gestured to me and said, “she doesn’t even understand and she is listening.” I made sure I didn’t fall asleep then. Everyone is watching. I’m affecting lives all around. I am an example. You are an example. We really need to be good ones. When they look at us, because they will, let us show them Christ.

Kimberly Snyder is a 20-year-old English Teacher, passionate about the things of God, spending time with her family, eating good food, and watching sunsets as often as possible. She is enjoying getting to know her new home of Chiayi county, Taiwan, taking pictures of everything, and blogging about her adventures and the lessons God is teaching her on her personal blog, Peculiar on Purpose.