There have been some huge moments for us here in Belize. Events that God used in our lives to mold us to become more like Him. My mind goes back to last year when the hurricane hit after I just had a c-section and having a severe case of kidney stones. Those events are now like markers in our lives. The times we look back and say, that is where our faith grew, that is the time that was the most difficult and God met our every need. Those are important historical moments in our journey of suffering and Christ-likeness, but there are other times, more subtle, that is the focus of this blog.
Just last Sunday we had to drive a struggling boat across the lagoon to get to church because the road was too flooded to go by car. It was beautiful out. I could see the whole village and the Mayan mountains in the background. God’s majesty. This contrasted with the slight stress of the situation: hoping the boat engine holds out, hoping there are no leaks in the boat, holding a baby in my lap and a toddler squeezing tightly against me because the sound of the engine was too loud. No one was talking, and in that small boat there were five people. Of course, this is normal for the Belizeans, and it’s not like this was my first time doing this but as I looked at the beauty and then what we were doing, I thought, “I’ve changed, this IS my life. The Melissa of the past is fading. And that is not a bad thing.” I chuckled to myself because the situation is quite funny, thoughts of “If only my family could see me now” ran through my head. The one thought that struck me though is when I said to myself, “I will remember this for the rest of my life.” And what I mean by “this” is twofold: 1) the beauty and majesty of Belize, Gales Point in particular and 2) the drastic change of lifestyle. These things are small, yet when you live them every day, they make an impression on you that you know will stick with you forever. Here are other examples:
- Almost getting off of the Coastal dirt road after a 1.5 hour drive and realizing the road is too flooded to pass and you have to turn around and go the other way, another 2.5 hour drive.
- 3 car windows busted, laptop stolen, radio stolen, welder and generator stolen and various other things, seemingly right before our eyes.
- Transporting a casket and body to the village for the funeral.
- Riding a bike through the village and feeling like we are “home”.
- Countless flat tires and car trouble.
- Seeing lives change slowly.
- Frustrating trips to the city to get our visa’s straightened out only to find out you need to go to another city. This happens yearly.
- You’re the missionary, and yet, you learn from the villagers how selfish you really are.
- Watching the amazing sunsets or brilliant stars in the sky. Only God could paint such beautiful scenery.
- Showing up on time for something and realizing that, unlike the American Way, the event will not happen until everyone is there.
Look at how small and seemingly insignificant some of these things are, and yet, when they happen DAILY they strengthen our character, They reveal God to us, they reveal our sin nature within us, they work patience in our lives. James 1:4 says- “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (KJV)” It is amazing what we have found we can live without because we simply can not have them here. It is amazing that when you live a lifestyle that requires patience (and I’m still not great at this) what other things you find simple joy in. John and I often talk about what we used to have, and what we used to live like. We made mistakes, and don’t want to return to that lifestyle of excess. We know that God is working patience into us so that we will be in want of NOTHING. We’re not there yet, but we are enjoying and not enjoying 😉 the adventure God has us on to get us there. This is why the “everyday moments” are the things we will remember for the rest of our lives.