Sunday, February 27, 2011
SPLICE: Week One
I've just completed my first week here at MTI in their SPLICE program!
This picture of my SPLICE handbook was taken with my Slice Kodak camera! I'll just let you imagine the confusion and fun that can take place with the similarities in names :)
As I get ready to head into my second week, I would ask for your prayers for continued sensitivity to the Holy Spirit's leading , conviction, and encouragement. I've been to missionary seminars before, and received the benefit of so much knowledge and learning, but this week has been much more about living and transformation. Just because of the very nature of transformation, this process is very difficult. All the tears and frustration is all worth it though! As I watch the Lord shape and fashion me more into the image of His Son, I'm so grateful for the times of laughter and rejoicing that are mixed in with the hard looks at who I am, and how far I am from who I want to be.
I think the single most life-changing concept that I've been considering is the concept of embracing the good with the bad (or as it's called here, paradox). I tend to think that everything is all good, or all bad, all the time, when in reality almost everything has both the negative and the positive.
I was thinking about my anticipation of language learning in relation to this. On the one hand, I love learning languages! I love the challenge, the intrigue, and the marked achievement that comes with learning a language. So when I think about trying to learn Luganda, my first thought is YAY! I'm so excited for the experience! But then there is also the YUCK! I'm so afraid that I won't be able to learn Luganda in the time or to the fluency that I expect and desire. Through SPLICE, I have been learning to hold both at the same time.
It is a true challenge for me to be able to acknowledge and embrace that there is hardship, pain, and discomfort *along with* joy and excitement, instead of labeling something as all bad, or not worth it just because there are negatives, or ignoring and shutting out the pain and disappointment because I should be grateful and joyful. I've been seeing just how much more beautiful God-given joy and thanksgiving is when viewed with the contrast of pain and discouragement. "Counting" it all joy when we face trials is not the same as "calling" all trials joy. Finding thanksgiving and joy in Jesus in the midst of betrayal, disappointment and suffering is what we are called to do. Not mis-labeling trials as right and good.
I'm sure you will be hearing much more in the days to come of how this actually looks in my life as the Lord trains me up in His ways.
We're talking more tomorrow about dealing with conflict, so if there is something you've been wanting to confront me about, tomorrow would be your prime opportunity! :)