I am currently in America where I have been for the past six weeks and will be for the next seven weeks. It is good to have a change of scenary, different pace of life for a bit. During what has become my "normal" life in Phnom Penh, Cambodia I am met daily with the reality of sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking of children, women and men. Along with each new story that we become part of at our center for prevention and restoration comes the chance to believe a victim, form a strategy to help and pray for God's favor and wisdom as we go forward.
I know though that if I chose to keep going I would have nothing to give tomorrow. And tomorrow will come with its new stories and new opportunities for myself and our Khmer employees to help.
So, as I live in Cambodia I do choose the discipline of slowing down and shifting my focus so I am filled up by lighter things because I know it is what will help me keep going tomorrow.
But right now, tonight, I sit here in America with LOTS of time on my hands because I don't have daily committments or to-do-lists. I've chosen to stop for longer than I'm allowed in Cambodia. And as I live in this strange place of 'in between' where I don't have the same demands/opportunities that have become normal I find myself with different opportunities being given to me by my Creator.
Some days I'll see an article (or five) on Facebook about pedophiles in Cambodia and I have the opportunity to pray my heart out...His heart really. I can just sit with the pain, the anger, the hope for transformation....all my thoughts and emotions can be what they may for as long as it takes for me to feel satisfied that I have given my heart, my attention, given my all emotionally to this thing that is so complicated and can never be wrapped up in one workday.
Other days I can't stop thinking about those I've grown to love in Cambodia. Literally, can't stop. I know what their days look like, I know when to pray and what to pray for because I'd usually be there with them. God's heart of intercession blows me away when I slow down so much that I can feel what He feels, hope what He hopes and declare what He has already done and is yet to do! Allowing myself the time and space to partner with Him in this way is completely refreshing to my soul.
I don't want to leave my everyday life, it's not natural for me to walk away from things I'm invested in. But, I choose to seperate myself for a while slowing down and shifting focus because I know I need the things I gain here so I can be reconnected to His heart for me and for those around me. It reminds me of His character and I continue to follow Him.
I can't do this slowing down thing alone. In Cambodia I have friends who remind me (without even knowing it most of the time) that it's time to slow down and shift the focus to other things so we can continue well tomorrow. There's a need for us to help each other slow down and shift our focus...