Alive and Leaving

Alive. Yes. The people of the Cambodian Chronicles are still very much alive. Very much busy. Too many should-have-been-written posts. And at the unearthly hour of 4:15 a.m., I am very much awake. Effects of the bit of coffee and tea that I drank last night, I suppose. I know. Caffiene only affects old people. I guess I’m getting old.

I don’t feel old. Definitely not old enough to be getting ready to fly away from the safety of my family in TEN DAYS. Sometimes I just want to go back to being two years old with not a care in the world, trusting my parents for all I need, resting in the security of their love. But I can’t. Make no mistake…their love and help is as present as ever, just in a different way. And I suppose if given the choice, I wouldn’t really want to go back anyways – it’s just nice to think about it.

Many of you know about the new chapter in my life that started opening last October. When my family and I moved to Cambodia, they committed to staying for three years, and I to one. I didn’t have any idea what would happen after that one year was over. Of course, about the time of Grandmom’s funeral, the questions started rolling in. “What are you going to do next?” “Are you staying longer?” The answer was simple. “I don’t know.” I treasure the time spent here in Cambodia with my family. I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. I have learned so much. But I wanted to know what the next step was.

In October I started seriously asking God to show me His will for my life. Before I came to Cambodia, I had decided that I didn’t want to pursue a different mission. If I was supposed to go somewhere else, I wanted them to ask me to come, not me ask them if I could come. One night I thought to myself how ridiculous this was. What mission is going to ask someone who’s already involved in another mission to come help them? What if deciding to do it that way was a mistake? I decided to ask Dad what he thought, and went to sleep. The next morning I groggily checked my email, and amidst the spam mail the words “Open Door” popped out at me. It was an email from the Camp director of Beaver Lake Camp in Dryden, Ontario, telling me about an opportunity to come serve as a Personal Worker. If you know me, you probably know how close to my heart my Native friends whom I met during the three summers I spent in the North are. It has been a desire of my heart to return to the North for a longer term of service, but each time an opportunity arose, it just didn’t seem like it was God’s will for me to go. This time though, I was amazed at the timing of the email. Could it be that God was giving me my heart’s desire? Whether He was or not, just the email about the opportunity was a huge confirmation to me that God truly did care about me and that He heard my heart’s cry.

The next weeks were some of the hardest, best weeks of my life. It was such a journey of learning to surrender and trust. To give up my own plans for His perfect will. Of trying to control things on my own, in the end realizing that God really does have everything under His control and that I only mess things up when I stick my fingers into the ‘dough’. A journey of tears, and l.o.n.g conversations with my Dad that probably left him wondering where the “Emotional Female Manual” was. I won’t go into the many details of how I felt God leading me (if you’d like to read more of the ‘story’ leave me a comment or message with your email address and I will send you the long version). =) But in the end, He made it so clear that Canada was the next place He wanted me to be. I am so grateful to Him for His leading. Yes, to be sure there are doubts, questions, and fears, but when I start to doubt His leading, I go back to those specific answers, and can rest in Him.

That was five months ago. When I agreed to come, five months seemed like a long, long time to get ready to leave. It wasn’t. Those five months have sped by so quickly, and now the time is almost here. With each passing day, I realize more and more how very much I will miss Cambodia with it’s smiling people, delicious fruits, my dear students, and most of all my precious family. Tears appear from nowhere at the silliest times…when Alaina falls asleep in my arms, her hair a curly mess, and I realize she’ll keep growing without me here to watch. When Forrest runs up to me, eyes glowing, with some exciting tidbit to share, and I just know in my soul how MUCH I’ll miss his amusing ways. When I think of life without Daddy’s reassuring, gentle presence and Mom’s ever dearer friendship. Without my big brothers around to ‘protect’ me from the dangerous world and carry my bags for me, and without my sisters who are growing up way too fast. I will miss them. So. Much. And I know that my leaving will leave a hole here that will be felt probably even more than if we were at home living a “normal” life, but they have given me their blessing, support, and encouragement, and for that I am forever grateful.

I’ll (hopefully) be sending out prayer cards once I arrive at BLC, so if you’d like one please let me know.

This post was going to be about a family trip to the beach, a stolen camera, and how God is bringing it back to me. It’s pretty much blazed a trail of it’s own though, and now here’s one of those should-have-been-written-months-ago posts. =/ For now I will leave it at that, and end with an earnest request for your prayers in the next several weeks, for myself and for my family as we prepare for and adjust to our lives apart.

God bless you all today, and every day.

As always…

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And as a closing treat, here’s a favorite picture of mine from Granddad’s visit. This little lady and her twin kinda weasled their way into his soft Granddaddy heart. (and maybe someday you’ll see more pictures from his visit. Who knows? Maybe another coffee mistake will do it.)

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14 thoughts on “Alive and Leaving

  1. Wow, Lori! You are blessed and you are also a real blessing to me in many ways! There are many other things I could say, but know this- put each day in God’s will, and your whole life will be in His plan! 🙂 You are doing awesome in that!
    xoxoxo

  2. Aw, Lori! God bless you abundantly as you take this next step in faith! *hugs* love you! I’d love to hear the ‘long version’ of the story, btw 😉

  3. Thanks, Lori, for sharing your heart. I just finished reading “Kisses from Katie” and somehow your e-mail reminded me of some of her journaling pages. God does truly have His hand on each of our lives and wants to use us in big and small ways. I think those adjectives, “big and small”, are our human definitions, not God’s way of looking at each of our lives. I will be praying for you; I’m sure there are so many different emotions right now.

  4. Lori, this was beautifully written and leaves me bawling even more than I did the other day after I was calling someone in the 864 area code and I had dialed 998-4806 before I even realized it. I miss you all and my heart is torn for you, leaving your family and all. You know I want the long version! 🙂

    • Aww…well, the thing is Cindy, I’ll be living much closer to you than I am here in Cambodia, and you know my family won’t be able to come see me. I’d love for you to visit me, cause I miss y’all too! (and I think I sent you the long version didn’t I?)

  5. Oh Lori, you have me wanting to cry at my desk. I have to admit that I shed many tears over you all leaving for Cambodia, but I knew that it was selfish of me to want you here. I knew that God had called you all to go just as He is calling you now. Please send me a prayer card. Also, it does my heart so much good to see Granddad smiling like that! He has such a gentle soul and a heart full of love. That, my dearest eldest niece, he passed on to you. 🙂

    • Thank you Sara…I’m so thankful for the heritage of loving Jesus Granddad and Grandmom gave us, so that we can be the people we are today with His help! Love you my youngest aunt! =)

  6. I know you only through your blog and through others,(like Sen and Srey Mum 🙂 and Crissy) but the knowledge that you are leaving your family for the next step touches a spot inside of me that has recently been torn away from my family as well. You’ll go through times of wondering where home really is, but GOD is faithful. He is our eternal home! Blessings as you go!

    • Hi…I just read bits and pieces of your blog, and I’m pretty sure if I met you, we’d hit it off and have some pretty epic heart to hearts. Thank you for your encouragement. Blessings to you as you continue to serve Him in Asia!

  7. Dear Lori, I love you openness! You are preparing wisely for the “different ” path! Recognizing and grieving the blessings you leave behind is all a part of stepping through the new door as it opens. We will be praying for you.

  8. Lori, I always look for your posts, am sure you have mixed emotions, but how comforting to know you are following your heart, and where God is leading you, rest in His presence, He is faithful, we love you! Blessings. …

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