I had been in the United States--I had been home--for only six days after being gone for two months, when I found myself standing with my family in our second row spot during worship at our church. Standing there for the first time in two months. I felt like that bloke, what was his name? Rip Van Winkle, right? The one who wandered up into the mountains, drank liquor with some hoodlums, slept for over twenty years, and then returned to his village to find that no one knew who he was, believed what he said had happened to him, and everyone he loved had either moved away or died. Honestly, I felt a little like Rip Van Winkle that first morning in church; a little bit like a traveler returning after being gone way too long.
That day, I signed a paper saying that I was now an official member of our church. Which basically just means that I'm serious about going there, about investing in our church body, and whenever they need help with a ministry they can ask me for assistance. I wouldn't have signed my name if I didn't love my church, or prayed about it first--but I do love my church and I did pray about it first, so I crossed all my 't's and dotted all my 'i's and signed my name quickly and answered all the questions. However, with that said, I still felt a little melancholy while doing it. That penned signature made it real, that I was actually back. And for a while. Thailand was a short season, I know that, and now the Lord is leading me to spend a season or two just pouring into my church family. But still, watching that first season fade away as the days pass is a little sad. Like the heart sinking when the first burned orange leaf falls, signifying the End Of Summer. The leaf is beautiful and the season it brings in with it is gorgeous--but we all miss summer just a bit, deep down.
I miss the season I spent in Thailand. I miss how it was almost like for two whole months, I was all His and He was all mine. Up on an Asian mountain, motorcycling through a valley, praying underneath the vast night sky and constellations--I was able to just spend time marveling my Maker's creation and my praise song to Him wasn't interrupted by Big Life Decisions or Make-up Biologys or This Girl Said That And What Are YOU Going To Do About Its. He was there with me, like Moses on the mountaintop with the Lord for forty days and forty nights. Except, I had fifty-eight days and fifty-eight nights in which the Lord showed Himself to me. I miss my Thailand season.
Seasons may change, winter to spring, but I love you.
Um, was that God using the lines from one of my favorite songs to soothe my sinking heart? I do believe it was. You know what? God was there that first Sunday, in that church, in me. He was there with me just like He had been with me while I was in Thailand, and He is the same God here as He is there. He is the same, and He is here.
No matter what season He leads me to walk through--winter, spring, Romania, Thailand, high school, etc.--He will still be there, and He will still be showing Himself to me. How could I possibly think that our Father would be constrained and controlled by the changing seasons, or two months, or the sea separating land when He created each one?