Friday, July 31, 2009
Saturday morning, I am sitting in my apartment listening to Sara Groves "He's Always Been Faithful" song on repeat. I am reveling in the Lord and His faithfulness to me. Today marks the beginning of August, and I find myself wondering how I have survived this long here. It is amazing to think of all that has happened, and is still happening despite the fact that so many people I love are leaving this place. As I changed my five different calendars, (yes, I have 5), I was overwhelmed with all the emotions and the only thing I feel in my heart is thankfulness. Here is my next date with Wrapping It Up. I will walk you through this cup of tea, because I believe it is crucial to all persons who experience transition. Let's face it, whether you want to or not, you will be in the same place that I am one day. This tea date calls for peppermint. It's quite appropriate in light of the refreshing taste it leaves in my mouth. Wrapping It Up looks at me from his seat on the floor and reminds me that there are only 7 weeks left in Korea. He says, "Are you ready to leave? How are you going to deal with this?" Tears well up in my eyes as I sit in my lime green camping chair. "Think about all the wonderful people and things that have happened and are happening now." he continues and sips his cup of peppermint tea. The memories are flooding back to me. Memories of September, October, November, December, January, February, March, April, May, June, and July. Friendships of all shapes and sizes, trials and triumphs, falling and getting back up...the list continues to flow through my head like the Red River. All the while the lyrics "He's always been faithful to me," are playing for the twentieth time, yet it is not enough, I feel I will never grow tired of those words. "All I have need of His hand will provide, He's always been faithful to me." I feel paralyzed by the words, by the gaze coming from across the room. "You know this is the key to leaving," says my visitor looking at me with those piercing eyes that always make me feel 5 years old again. "Be thankful for what has been, what is, and what will be. He has always been faithful to you, He always will be. I know that you feel like you don't know where you are going or what you are doing, but He does." Now I have to breath deep the peppermint aroma and take a few gulps to help ease the tears that won't stop coming. They are falling the like the rains of Daegu in monsoon season. Moments like this remind me that no matter how much I dislike Wrapping It Up and his family, they have all had their therapeutic moments. Wrapping It Up shows me the pain, and the joy in it all. My thought process is interrupted as Wrapping It Up utters another phrase, "Remember Julia, you don't have to have it all together, that's not possible." Relief floods over me, and for the millionth time in my life I lay down my gynormous burden at the cross. "He's always been faithful to me." I breath out. These are the moments when I know the love the Lord, the moments when I am brought low and reminded that I am just a person. He is my King, I am the servant. All I want to do now is sit at His feet for a little while, until He tells me what we are doing next. I feel the comfort of His arms around me holding me in the midst of this turbulent world. Now I know that He loves me. I always know it in the back of my mind, but somedays I believe it well, and others I do not. This beautiful moment is one that will stay in my mind when I need a reminder to press on.
I look across the room and realize that Wrapping It Up is still there, "Sorry for neglecting you, I was just having a moment, or ten I guess." He smiles and shakes his head, "It's no problem, I have always enjoyed listening to this song. My job is not always talking. Well, I am finished with my tea. Isn't peppermint so refreshing?"
"Would you like another cup?" I offer.
"No, that's okay, I have to get going, I will see you later, I'll call ahead of time to let you know what tea I will want." He gets up slowly, humming the song quietly, and leaves.
Dear friends, leave well, and even if you are not leaving now, remember He is always faithful to us. Try some peppermint tea this week, it is one of my favorites these days. Love you.
P.S.-Inspired by my visitor over my vacation I visited the green tea plantation in Boseong, South Korea. The picture is the green tea field.