Conglomeration nation…

This is going to be a mess. A journal…that’s what it’s become…forgive me “readers,” you’re gonna get a mouth full this time.

Here I am in Birmingham. I have no idea why…but I am. It’s been hard here, recovering, healing, changing, adjusting, finding new friends, eating new foods, remembering English…I feel like a foreigner in so many ways. And to add? Another new place I’ve never been before. Wow…I can already see how God is totally taking me places I would have never thought before, not just places, but phases. Single, 8-5 job (more like 7-6), a place where no friends or family live (well, no friends when I first got here at least). Not really something I’d ever imagine myself doing, or some place I’d expect myself to be.

Aching for the unusual. The foreign. The passionate. The need. The dirt. The language I don’t understand. The funny smells. Sure, Birmingham has a little of all of that, but it’s just not quite the same. It’s hard to explain I suppose.

But I’m surviving. Every day God gives me a little peace, a little encouragement. Like a rainy and cool Saturday with NO PLANS! Hallelujah! Work has been busy, life. It’s crazy busy. No time for even journaling really, so here I am. Using my blog. Again, I’m sorry readers.

I’ve visited some churches here, but none seem to quite fit. I do miss my small house church back in Thailand. Yup, sure do. Churches here are HUGE and on every corner…I feel quite out of place in them…but I’m sure I’ll adjust over time. That’s me, the queen of adjusting.

Co-workers are great. I have to admit, I’m lucky. They’ve kept me busy with picture-taking.

And inspiring words have come from friends and favorite song writer’s…

“Then I could see as time passed by that I grabbed on to what wasn’t mine and what I WANTED, but what wasn’t given to me from God. And also I saw how I put ALL MY HOPE into that relationship, so shaky, grounded only in our emotions and desire to be together because we both had been so lonely…So I knew I had to continue waiting. Through the pain of longing for partnership. Through loneliness. Through memories and dreams not fulfilled…One step at a time. One day at a time. Grieve it all. Cry. Pray. Eat. Draw. Take your beautiful pictures. And look at the sky. See the beauty. And remember that is the beauty God sees in you, because He made you.

Everything passes. This too shall pass. Live it, Neisha.”

and…

“It’s sweeter to trust Jesus when you’ve nothing to give or say.”

and…

“Lord deliver me from me. Lord deliver me to You. Lord deliver me from the desire to be noticed, loved, exalted, favored, popular or acknowledged. Lord deliver me from the fear of being wronged, forgotten or ignored. Lord deliver from me. Lord deliver me to You.”

and…

“Like I’m playing in the mud when I’ve never seen the big sea, I stay here in the slums when there are waves. I ask for deliverance from things of the skin. Here’s the soul, give it hope again.”

and…

“And there is grace. Grace to be just where I am. Grace to make mistakes and then grace to get back up again.”

Day by day, moment by moment really…we (I) have to seek Him, His comfort alone, love more than loved, and press on…even in the mundane, in the hard, in the heartbreaking. That’s our task…but He’s our helper. Just gotta use Him, trust Him, seek Him. I’m preaching to myself, seriously. Seriously.

And another day dawns. The grass grows. The sun comes up. The air is clean and crisp, and God has great plans for us (me).

Another co-worker let me be a part of her engagement. See? Hope for the future. Something around the corner that is good and beautiful and something God created. We are blessed to be His children.

And I got to go to Secret Church at The Church at Brook Hills with David Platt leading the way. It was encouraging.

So here I sit, in my red la-z-boy, quilt on my lap under my laptop, coffee mug resting by my side…

“Here’s the soul, make it holy again. Here’s the soul, give it hope again. Here’s the soul…”