A Couple Days to Recover

To recap my last few days in a way that would satisfy my need to include every single detail of emotion would mean that this post would require your attention for an amount of time no one in their right mind should be willing to dedicate.  With that said, I am going to try to jot down the things that really stick out to me…and I’ll just have to be okay with leaving out some details. You’re welcome, in advance.

I will start by saying that it has taken me a couple of days to move on from the fact that after over an hour of writing out the perfect blog post, I mindlessly closed out of the tab without saving it. If you’ve ever been proud of a post only to lose it, you understand the depth of my ache after realizing what I had ruined. Maybe I’m still a bit peeved. Healing is a process, right? Right.

Officially moving on…A few days ago I had to confess (after it was brought to my attention) that I – a (for the most part) easy-going traveler with a somewhat wide range of experience with other countries – was experiencing culture shock. After over a month in this country without having faced this I was convinced I had escaped my chance of ever having it. That probably played into my denial of it. However, I must say that after a day of crying, insecurity and an overwhelming sense of feeling lost and confused (to name a few), it was probably the best thing that could of happened to me. In an extreme nutshell, it brought me to my end. A very much needed and humbling end. Father knew exactly where I was and what I needed too. Immediately after recognizing that anything ‘foreign’ felt so insulting to me, Papa sent a lovely woman our way. She is originally from Michigan and has lived here for over fifteen years. I’m not talking living in a city in China that has been so westernized you feel like you’re actually in Chinatown, Los Angeles. I’m talking living in a village hours away from electricity and running water. Where they don’t speak Mandarin as their first language, but rather their own minority dialect. The girl is hardcore. Its funny because other foreigners (white or non-Chinese people living in China) say that she has been here so long she is now more Chinese than she is American.

Anyway, she ate lunch with us and was cuing me in on some cultural differences that I should know about before I make any offensive mistakes. Mind you, this conversation is taking place right after I tell Oz about how I am feeling and really anything that is honest can and will make me cry.

Eggshells.

She has no idea how fragile the eggshells she’s walking on are.

The G0d-send of a question came out after about ten minutes of our chat.

“So, why are you here in Lij1ang?”

I could feel the tears ready to relocate to the outside of my lids so I quickly diverted the answering to my husband.

Didn’t work.

“I know he can answer, that’s why I specifically asked you, Bee.”

This is the point where I know she is here for a reason, eating lunch with us. Father doesn’t let us suffer in isolation. He sends us community. Even when it’s the last thing we want. He knows when we need to ache with someone else. He knows when we need comfort in a tangible form through someone who has been in our shoes. (In these moments, He is comfort manifested through someone else.) He is faithful in that way. I think its funny (well, not actually funny) that when we are so caught up in our very real heartaches, all that is clear to us is how badly we hurt and how far from ease we are when really, those can be the times where we experience the deepest kind of soothing and place of refuge. I think that to the intensity that our pain is, He matches with a custom-made peace. Perfectly.

Naturally, I broke down. And she let me. Her hand on the side of my face was the permission I needed to be human. I am so grateful for the freedom I felt in that moment. I knew that outburst of raw emotion was my first step towards the maturity and healing that this process would lead me to. It didn’t take away the confusion or aching, not quite yet. But I sensed His presence with me and He is so good at what He does. As I think of it now I’m brought to tears again. Not of sorrow, but of pure thankfulness. And of relief, too. I can feel Him again, even now, with a hug that says I am never leaving you.

My guard soon dropped and I was more open to receiving her advice. The practical and the spiritual. She reminded me that He speaks to us every single day. He knew Oz and I would be here. He knew that that day I was going to be a downright mess. He knew what I needed and He knew what He was doing.

I think in all of this I am learning how much I need to depend on Him. I really wanted to depend on Oz that day. I demanded impossible things from him. But he wasn’t supposed to be my absolute rock that day. J e s u s was. In my moment of absolute weakness and desperation, J e s u s is my only solid foundation. He is steady through trials. He is constant during change. He is familiar in the midst of foreignness. And now I am (still) learning that when I run to Him, he directs me through my maze of confusion and leads me perfectly to victory.

I would not change that day for anything. Since then, my connections with people are more exciting. I am not scared to make mistakes while speaking this complex language. I am getting more out of my experiences and I am more open to new things. I am seeing people more like the Father does and I know that He is growing in me a genuine love for these people and this experience that could not have ever existed in me while pride and judgment where my filters through which I understood my surroundings.

This is a day-by-day kind of deal. I have itsy-bitsy moments where I have to refocus my attitude. “Take every thought captive” is a biggy right now. It is such perfect design that everything I read and come across intertwines with what Pops is teaching me. Even in marriage. Oz and I are learning how to more authentically walk in love towards each other. I must say he is doing quite the swell job – I am inspired and challenged by him daily and am so blessed by how much I see Father moving in his heart. It deepens my  own hunger for transformation in my life. We have been reading a book on communication and have been really enjoying our evenings when we read it together. My favorite part though is when I notice us applying what we’re learning in our outings together. Whoa, this stuff actually works! There has been a renewed and even deeper-than-ever-before connection of laughter, enjoyment and support for each other. Interesting, when I stop nit-picking (mom, you know I hate strongly-dislike that phrase!) at what I wish was different about our marriage (we can all find something, I’m sure) and instead focus on what the L0rd has called me to be, and how excited He is to lead us into that kind of maturity and healthiness, the relationships (Oz + Bee & J.C. + Bee) become so much more fulfilling and fruitful. Shocking, right?

What a concept.

Anyway, there are 4 billion things going on in my head that I’d love to sit down with you and chat about, but I think I’ll give it a rest for now.

Wait! A bit of a recap from today – it was a good day.

We went to our friends’ house (who right now are out of town) to do laundry, and their key didn’t work! Soooo, we ended up hanging out with their neighbor and stayed at her house the entire afternoon and well into the nighttime. She made us Pu’Er Cha (tea) and we had a great afternoon together. We ate dinner there with her friends (Oz and I helped fold the dumplings – so fun) and then enjoyed more cha together. She has a cinnamon colored poodle that actually redeemed the breed for us. That pup is such a babe and super sweet. It was a wonderful day to soak up language and develop new friendships. I’m pretty sure it was the better plan to get locked out of our friends’ house today. {However, we still need to pick up our laundry and figure out how our friends will get back into their house when they get home…but what would China be without a little bit of ma fan? (Ah, that’s a good one to know…’ma fan’ means troublesome, or inconvenience – along those lines. I may be throwing that one around quite a bit.)}

I hope this ramble was more cohesive than I feel it was. Thank you for your continued pr@yers and love. We adore getting emails from you so don’t be shy!

ImageOur new Home Sweet Home.

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Happy belated 4th of July!

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The restaurant with my favorite dessert.

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My favorite dessert.

{Xi Mi Lu}

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Ke Le – the poodle-redeeming pup.

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Lij1ang Old Town during traffic hour.

 

 

Happy mid-July to you all,

Bee

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6 thoughts on “A Couple Days to Recover

  1. Momma Bee says:

    The process that Papa is taking me thorough in releasing you for this time has had its ups and downs as well. As I read your entry, I am more at ease at knowing you are right where He wants you. Your (as well as Oz’s) growth and intentionality for this time has been an example and encouragement to us all. Love you beyond what words can express.
    Mommabee

    • ozandbee says:

      MommaBee, its been a great process. I am enjoying this season of growing up with my husband. We will look back on this summer and be so thankful…we already are. This time has been beneficial for our marriage and our future family. I am encouraged by you and your love and support. Mostest, Bee.

  2. I¡¯m still learning from you, while I¡¯m trying to reach my goals. I absolutely liked reading all that is written on your blog.Keep the stories coming. I liked it!

  3. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author.I will remember to bookmark your blog and will come back in the future. I want to encourage yourself to continue your great posts, have a nice day!

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