Turning the Corner

Living here is like waking up.

We’ve been in Central America for six weeks now, my family and I, and personally, the transition has been tough.

Not because we weren’t called.  And not because we weren’t absolutely certain that Costa Rica was the next chapter in our story.

Plain and simple, it was just hard. The letting go of everything familiar for the brand-new and untried. The adjustment to an unknown way of walking out the day, a foreign way of processing life, an alien lens now mine through which to see the world.

The first morning and every morning for a couple of weeks, I would wake, roused by a symphony of birds trilling outside my window, and in the grogginess of half sleep I would question:  where am I?

Am I here or there?

In the glow of the past or smack-dab in the middle of my future?

Where am I, really?

As days blended into weeks, I began to grab hold of something pulsing down deep, something waiting to be noticed.

Costa Rica is sharp.

Rich.

Alive.

The safety of daily comfort was being stripped, and I had these open, throbbing places in my soul; I just wasn’t sure what to do with them.  Finally I rolled over one morning and realized that I was ready to listen.  Not just to the bevy of birds, but to the quiet hiding just behind their song.  In that moment, truth came in a rush.

In so many ways, our Western busyness becomes a sedative for our souls, lulling us into numb unawareness of the sharper, richer beauties of life.

Our focus and goal, our singular aim becomes comfort.  Comfort of mind, of body, even of experience.  In our frenetic search for comfort, we skim right past the depth surrounding us.  The vibrancy of a world created to thrill us with its intensity fades to worn gray, its galvanizing pricks numbed in the chill waters of complacency.

And I had to ask myself: from how many things do I insulate myself in my rush to pursue comfort?  I can become so protected that I am carefully, intentionally inoculated from the grandeur surrounding me.

There is depth here in Costa Rica that I cannot explain.  Depth of relationship, experience, growth.

And through the filter of grace, I can see it.

The passion of Jesus is too great; He’s too jealous a lover to allow me to continue to just exist, comfortable in my status quo. So He allows me to be exposed to pain, challenge, hurt, and I startle awake, pulsing with an awareness that there is so much more.

There is always so much more in Him.

My comfort challenged, I realize that splendor has been waiting just below the surface of my determined reach for ease.CR1-b

Not all of us are called to pull up and move to a foreign mission field for the long term.  But every one of us is called to really live.

So we abandon our props, our soul sedatives and we come awake.

Wide awake to the pain and beauty.

Wide awake to the challenge and glory that is abundant life.


Photo by Josh Wray (#josh_wray)

 

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26 comments

  • Tiffany as always your writing draws me deep into your words and the realness of life that you share so beautifully on paper.

  • What an adventure, that can only be fully accomplished through the leading , guidance, and love of the Lord–a journey in faith, and trust in Him, that He has your entire family in the palm of His hand.
    If anyone can do this, it’s the Nesbitt family!
    You’ve lived your life thus far intent on following His lead–I have faith that in Costa Rica it will be no different.
    May the Lord give you and your family the comfort that only He can give, even in those times when you are not “comfortable.”
    May He protect you, and provide for you.
    May you serve and thrive in His love.

  • Beautiful. Both the awakening and your detailed description of the process. We all miss you mightily; but rejoice in all Nesbitt’s discovering “what is next,” and inviting us to dream with you!
    ❤, Megan

  • Your post was nothing less than inspirational! Thank you for sharing on such a deep level of where your spiritual journey has led you. It is in those “growing” seasons that our roots grow just a little deeper that cause us to know the richness of God’s depth in our lives, and see things through a different lens by the prompting on the Holy Spirit. Love your post, and love you Tiffany. Thanks for sharing your heart, and can’t wait till we’re together soon, and get to serve alongside of you, Chris, and the rest of the team.

  • Beautiful!!! Thinking and praying for you guys…what an amazing adventure you have been called to do!

    • What a treat to hear from you, Katie! Thank you so much for the love and prayers… we cherish your beautiful family!

  • “Our focus and goal, our singular aim becomes comfort.” Everything you’ve written is in such a way that it really makes one ponder. It’s deep.

    Funny story that demonstrates the truth of that line you wrote above. In 2005, John, the Ugandan pastor came to visit us for the first time. I did not know you could have culture shock while standing on your own soil, but you can. At least I did.

    One afternoon, he was out at an appointment, and I was helping him get his room cleaned and packed . I found a folded piece of paper, and opened it to see it I should toss it or pack it. At the top were clearly written the words: Sermon notes.

    Unlike most sermon notes from America, one sentence outlined his sermon. “Americans are afraid to be uncomfortable.” I paused. Isn’t everyone afraid to be uncomfortable?

    It’s been 10 years, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget those words. That it was noticeable to him….and strange….that we didn’t want to be, and even feared being, uncomfortable.

    I was MOST certainly uncomfortable on my two 2-week jaunts. And I wonder what lies ahead. What it will be like living there, not just visiting. Honestly, as long as it isn’t 88% humidity with 80% heat, I think I might be ok. I wonder if I’ll ever get used to it, really. Anywhere other than the U.S. is like stepping off the high dive. And like stepping into those warm waves you described to cool off in the amazing hospitality and the welcome we received.

    I was helping another of the Ugandan pastors book his travels. My jaw dropped open when I heard he landed in Panama….not Panama City, Florida, and then had to take an 11 hour bus just because of one little error. I realized he needed someone to help him book his travel,and I volunteered (maybe 8 years ago). Since I know our geography and our culture, I could call his hosts and find out when they’re expecting him to arrive and depart. And I helped him avoid a criss-cross the country several times. He laughed quietly at his struggles and said, I have been a Ugandan for 40 years.

    It’s hard to take the American out of an American and vice versa. I felt like I could relate to what you’re encountering, but I know that a short visit is nothing like knowing you’re moving in. It has to be so so hard….harder than I can imagine. But the weight of glory will be so worth it, when we’ve made friends for ourselves in eternity….and get to hear the Well Done, Good and Faithful servant. Which I am CERTAIN our Master will say to you! Great blog…as always. Thought provoking.

    • Thank you for sharing your heart, Cindy. I love your vulnerability and am blessed by your wholehearted willingness to allow the Lord to make you uncomfortable.:)

  • oh tiffany and to all of your family… I am blessed by your post and so excited for you!!! I pray that in all of our lives we can find what you have there in Costa Rica!!! Praying for you daily.

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