I've been thinking about this concept of survival vs thriving for a long time. It seems as though I've spent most of my life in survival mode, "I just need to get through this crisis, so I can move on to the next." This was my life growing up. Where are we going to get food from today? How drunk is mom going to be? Will she be a happy drunk or will she get mean? How am I going to pay for college? Where's the rent money going to come from? You get the point. I learned to live in survival mode. This was my day to day existence.
I did have a safe place however, my friend Melissa's house. That was my place of refuge. When I was there I was loved and cared for. I was allowed to be a kid. I didn't worry about food, bills, or if I was going to be abused that day. It was wonderful and it was my lifeline to a world outside of my own. A world where survival wasn't the goal; thriving was. I am so grateful for that chance to see that life could be different. I sincerely believe I would not be where I am today with out that place of safety and refuge.
God has really been moving my heart about our appointment here in Waterloo. Our move here was surrounded by unexpected circumstances at a very odd time. I don't think we were mentally prepared nor were our people. This was no one's fault, it was just a crazy set of circumstances. I described our arrival in Waterloo like being put into a large dark crate spun around several times and dropped off in the middle of day in China. It really was that disorienting. Our people were confused and we were confused. Everyone went into survival mode.
We've been in survival mode for the last two years. Just trying to figure it out day to day and learning about each other. Has it been difficult? ABSOLUTELY! There have been days when Rob and I have thought about throwing the towel in. I've argued with God, "Surely we aren't the ones to do this job!" I'm sure our people have had those moments as well. Some have thrown the towel in, but most have stuck with us (for which I am profoundly grateful). However, I do think that this period of survival mode was necessary. Just like the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years, this desert has been a place of learning, growth, and refining. Now it's time to leave that desert and enter the Promised Land.
You can only live in survival mode for so long. God is ready to move us all forward. No more excuses, just results.
When you're in survival mode, the only thing you can think about is getting out alive. It is impossible to appreciate what God is doing when you're in the middle of it. At this moment I am thankful for that oppurtunity for growth but I'm dancing with joy as I enter the promised land.
Now it's time to thrive!