You see, for the past three years since we have been here, it seems everything has been relatively clear. We have been moving forward in the ways that God has been leading us. Praying, thinking, learning, teaching, scrambling, meeting, discerning, advocating, discipling, developing, reassessing, changing, buying, feeding, clothing, transporting, going, leaving, and so on. Everything has seemingly fallen into place. A lot has been gained: Pioneering into new Roma communities, numerous relationships with Roma and Albanians, the acquisition of a new (and difficult) language, cultural understanding, raising awareness about the Roma, advocating for Roma communities and their families, marching in protests for housing, a couple of small programs initiated, some churches prodded to help, a few new disciples made, and seeing the natural development of a team that has been a part of these efforts here.
Don't get me wrong, these are wonderful things and it's been awe inspiring to see all of this transpire over the past few years. And, I truly can say with complete confidence, that it was a move of the Holy Spirit upon people and upon this city.
But, here is where the uncertainty comes in. I feel I have lost my breath a bit. Perhaps I have gotten ahead of myself. I'm not burnt out. But, I feel I have lost some momentum and steam. I have recently been met with some resistance and obstacles. Hit another wall. Lacking a bit of motivation. Discouraged. And, I've even found myself becoming slightly jaded and cynical toward the very people I am supposed to love and serve. And, I absolutely refuse to succumb to that.
As a result, this has caused me to pull back on the brakes a bit. And, pause...
Ironically, during this past month of uncertainty and pause, there have been people in my life who have and continue to speak very deeply to me. A mentor, a group of friends, a ministry partner, my Area Leader. A few books that I have recently read and continue to read are speaking to me as well. As a result I have come to the conclusion that I may be entering into a new season of life and ministry here in Albania. I can't quite pin it down. But, it looks like a season of simply being and listening. Not always feeling compelled to do, but to simply be and listen. Listen for God's direction and guidance. Listening for my Shepherd's voice. What is He telling me to do? I wonder how long this will take. Because, it's been over a month and I haven't heard from Him. Did he go on an early summer break? Was He tired of all of this rain we have been having and did He bail out?
I, of course, am being cynical. But, this is also a small glimpse into what I am honestly feeling... silence. Nothing. Nada. Crickets chirping. A bit of frustration and confusion. Sadness. Uncertainty.
I know I am wrestling and struggling through some things right now. And, maybe this is precisely where God wants me. To go through this struggle, where there will also likely be some suffering and pain. Because it has been painful. And, not everyone can understand that... but God.
So, here I am. I've come to the conclusion that I am now to enter into this new season. I can't say I am elated by it. I do tend to get restless and impatient. I'm a doer not a waiter. After all, I come from a results-oriented society. Things need to get done. The thought of doing nothing but being still and listening is incomprehensible. But, as I am learning to yield to the Spirit and walk by faith, this is clearly where God wants me right now. And, I need to be good with that. I need to just be obedient to it. So, here I am. I am letting go of my own agendas, visions, methods, goals, and desires. In part, I am dying to self. And, letting God... be who He is and do what He does best. Therefore, I surrender myself into this new season of simply... being and listening.