Roads and Signs

Here in Nepal, things are not always as you expect or anticipate them to be. This whole trip has been that way, but I should have known it would be. Everything from our Thai visa processing, to transportation, to even making simple phone calls has been longer or more complicated then it should have been. Right now I’m on a bus to Pokhara, where I didn’t even know I would be going. It’s 3pm. It’s been 12 hours since we groggily loaded our bags into a tourist van for the first part of our journey out of Kathmandu, and we still have a ways to go. We’re a day behind our schedule because everything closed down for the election yesterday and there was a ban on travel. 

But here we are now, our bus hobbling down a riverside road under construction. The bus sways side to side over the bumps on the road and occasionally vibrates over the rocks. The trees and bushes we pass are all the same gray, each leaf coated with a thick sheet of dust. I want to just shake them so their green vibrancy will return. 

This feels like my life, sitting on this bus. I feel like I’ve been here ages, and will be for ages to come. Time speeds up and holds still. I wonder what the significance of this chunk of my life is, sitting on this bus. Is this all? Always moving between one thing and another? Waiting for a destination, but unsure if the destination is really worth it?

These are the same questions that pang in my heart for my season of life. The constant process that I’m in seems to stretch and loom before me more then ever. It’s been a rough and messy path, not really paved out neatly before me. I know the process has produced character in me, but I also feel that some areas of my life have lost their vibrancy along the way. I long for the destination more then ever, but I slowly release my fixation on it, as it seems to get only farther away. This has become the frustrating normal for me, but this trip to Nepal seemed to stir it up all over again. 

God speaks to me a lot through the mountains, just because I love them. The crazy thing is most of the time I feel like I’m chasing after just a glimpse of some beautiful white peaks, but when I get to the spot where I should see them, they are teasingly concealed behind clouds or smog or darkness. It’s especially frustrating to me because I feel like that’s what’s happening with God’s promises to me. I’m certain I’ll get a glimpse of them, but then it seems like He tucks them back into His pocket, playing keep away.

Literally, the day I left my friends house in Kathmandu to join the team I would be traveling with, there was a perfectly clear view of the mountains from her house. I was so upset that I had missed it by mere hours. But as the sun came up this morning, along our journey away from Kathmandu, we saw a perfect view of multiple mountain ranges surrounding us. My frustration melted as God so sweetly assured me that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. He’s so pleased with me, being obedient to be fully in this process. He’s not cruel and He’s not teasing me. I’m really here for a strategic time and His promises will come to pass in the same strategic way. 

As I look out my window there’s a sign sticking out along the dusty road, “Your journey is right on time.”

For those who feel stuck in between: there’s hope in the waiting. Your season will come. And even if you don’t see the promise yet, it doesn’t mean you’re in the wrong place. 

In the meantime, knowing Him, seeing His face, is what satisfies. Psalm 17:14 talks about the seemingly fruitful legacy that the unrighteous leave, but in verse 15 David writes: “As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.”

I too can say that as I await the fulfillment, He is my reward. 

One Comment Add yours

  1. Shawna,
    Thank you for your beautiful words that reflect an obedient servant heart. We can all relate in some way to your journey so thanks for letting us know that we are not alone and that our season is coming. Sometimes when we are in the middle of the work we can’t see the beauty that surrounds what we are doing but others can see it and feel it and that is what is so vital! You bring hope so much hope to do many. You are in my thoughts and prayers. May God continue to show his majesty in your mountains!! Love ya!! Theressa


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