Sunday, October 3, 2010

Life is Better Somewhere Else Than Here

A few weeks ago I experienced a rare emotion.  I didn't want to be in Ukraine.  I had spent nearly two wonderful weeks outside of Ukraine in a country where life is easier and society functions.  I returned feeling overwhelmed by all the reasons NOT to live in Ukraine.  I couldn't even think of one good reason to stay.  My list of concerns included: I can't trust that the food we eat isn't contaminated, my children aren't receiving the Christian school education that we would like for them to have, I'm repeatedly pushed aside by someone wanting to get to the front of the line, being immersed in three foreign languages is too much, Matthew's personality is repressed because of his inability to communicate, where's the line between helping and developing dependency, and the list goes on.

Slowly over a week these negative emotions began to subside.  The concerns remain but I am not looking so intently at the grass on the other side of the fence (so to speak).  Today I led an English Bible study and our topic was the Israelite's complaining in the desert.  God brought them to the desert to test them and mold them into the people He wanted them to be.  If it's not complaining that He wanted to hear when they had no water, when their feet ached from walking, when their bellies grumbled, then what was it?  Maybe He wanted to hear them say, "Hey, God, I saw how you did amazing things back in Egypt, please see our needs and provide for us."  or "I'll go where you want me to go even though I don't like it."  Perhaps my response to life not always being what I want should not be one of complaining but of openness to what God has to teach me and in expectation of His incredible provision.

All this musing brought to mind a song I heard my parents listen to when I was a child - Keith Green's So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt.  If I was feeling really creative (and had a ton of time on my hands) I would change the words to apply to my situation.  But I have neither the creativity nor the time so if you want you can just listen to the original song.


  1. I am sorry that you experience this feeling. I had the same when I came here 10 years ago, and we didn't even have internet... Sometimes I feel the same these days, too, but then I imagine what if... Many things would change and maybe I couldn't do some things that I can do here, it is difficult to find some, but there are ;D

  2. I'm saddened to hear you are struggling but hopeful that your continuing and encouraged by the Lord. It is neat to see how God can encourage us when we need it most, such as in your bible study. Although I do not live in the Ukraine I can understand your frustrations. I always said I would never live in ND or move back here but God humbled me and brought my family here. It too is a struggle here because we live in a small town and there is little to do and I have no real friends here. I have learned that I need to have faith in the lord and his previsions for us even if I can't see it at times. God knows the desires of our heart. Love ya sis.

  3. This was really precious to hear Sarah. I appreciate your vulnerability and lack of dismissing the realness of what you are feeling...and also I love your sentiments regarding the Israelites. It was important for me to remember this evening of what God did in "Egypt" as there are things about our transition and situation i wish were different...thanks much:) abby:)

  4. Sarah, that is so great that you are in Ukraine! So many people thank God for having met you, and the difficulties falling on your head in Mukachevo will surely seem one day something trifling and non-important :)