Sunrise at Shalom Campsite in the Matopo Hills National Park
I have been pondering on the words of Ecclesiates 3 and wondering what season I am in at the moment. It would appear that now is not the time for practicing speech therapy; my work permit has been refused and so we are currently going through an appeal process. While we wait I am unable to work. So, if this is not the season for practicing speech therapy, what season is it?
A couple of weeks ago I was feeling pretty frustrated about the situation, somehow I felt like my identity was being challenged. I have never really considered that I had placed my identity in what I ‘did’. A year ago I was happy to give up being a therapist, however, when it looked like that was what I would be doing, I felt a relief that I would be at least doing something I was good at and something that was useful.
Since being here I felt a pressure to be ‘productive’, to have something to show for the all resources that are being put into us. To be able to write on this blog all the things that we have ‘achieved’. Snail-paced language learning doesn’t really seem very news worthy. We’ve only been here for 3 months but I want to run ahead and to have busy and fruitful days, evenings, weekends, but now is not the time. I’m not the kind of girl that enjoys her own company, sitting peacefully in contemplation. I’m more the kind of girl that just gets stuck in and thinks about it later. We were warned of this pressure during our training at IMC, and foolishly I didn’t think it would affect me.
Funnily enough though, God has been using this time to teach me and prepare me. He has given me time to simply spend with people, to build relationships and connections for the long haul. It has given me time to spend with Him and readjusted my priorities. My focus has shifted from what I can ‘do’, to who I am in Him and why He has placed us here. I am slowly realising that this time is precious.
Once I get that permit it will be all systems go and if I hadn’t had this time of preparation I could easily have risked a crash-and-burn. I thought that with 9 months of preparation at IMC I was ready to go, to start running the race. 9 months is long enough for a baby to be born, but it still needs to learn to talk, walk, relate, mature, grow… It can’t ‘achieve’ much at 3 months old, its identity is not in what it does, but in the one who created it. We hope that God has got us here for the long haul, a long race to run. So now is the time for waiting, learning, building foundations, watching and trusting that there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.