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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Take off your shoes...

This past week I've heard multiple references to the Israelites. You'd think after the first few times I'd get it....the Lord is trying to teach me something. It wasn't until today, when I was listening to a song ABOUT the Israelites leaving Egypt that I was able to grasp a morsel of what the Lord may be teaching my heart. Funny how a simple song can finally drive a point home and connect my heart and mind....but that's kind of how I'm wired. I love to listen to a song above skimming over it's lyrics and search deep for its meaning and find beauty in the carefully chosen and woven words.

The song is called "Painting Pictures of Egypt." Sara Groves truly does paint a picture with her lyrics of what my heart feels. The song is about this pull between two places and the heart that is stuck in between. She sings as if she is one of the Israelites on her way into the Promised Land and how it is filled with opportunities and dreams but how her heart still longs for the way things were....comfortable, familiar, easy and "home."

"The past is so tangible...I know it by heart Familiar things are never easy to discard I was dying for some freedom,but now I hesitate to go I am caught between the Promise and the things I know "

Can I relate? 100%. I feel that I'm in this "limbo" stage right now, or as the song says, "I am caught between the Promise and the things I know." I'm not sure if its the things I know or to be known that I miss the most. I took comfort in being known inside and out by friends and family back at home. Here, I'm just a new missionary carving who I am in the sands of Kenya. On Monday, my office had our Monday morning devotion. My co-worker, Andy, was the one to give the devotion. He spoke on this exact topic and explained the same struggle he too had in coming over here and not being known by anyone. He said that the one thing he and his family had to do was claim that the Lord created them for this and to find rest in knowing that the Lord has called them here to Africa and has equipped them accordingly. Our identity should not be found in our skills or talents but in Christ alone.

Things were so comfortable and familiar three months ago...that has since all been stripped. I was talking with my dad the other night and shared with him about my "limbo" status and feeling that my heart is at this tug of war....loving it here but not wanting to settle entirely. The thing he said made me see a verse in a whole new light. He told me to take off my shoes, for where I am is holy ground.

Exodus 3:5 "Take off your shoes, for where you are standing is holy ground."

Hmm...where I am is holy ground...take off your shoes. Yes, of course their is the significance of taking of the shoes because the ground is holy but I started thinking about it in a more "African" way and I learned something new. It is custom here to take off your shoes when you enter in a Kenyan home. You are then "home" and should make yourself feel comfortable. Its like the whole "take off your shoes and relax, stay a while" mindset as if the Lord wants me to take off my shoes here and let myself settle for this season of my life. He doesn't want me spending my time here wearing my shoes in case in a split second I'll need to take off running. I know this will not come easy because my heart longs for the things familiar such as walking into a room and having people know what makes Kate Joyce, Kate Joyce. But then again, who's to say I won't eventually find that here? Maybe its about time I start untying my shoes and feel this holy ground beneath my feet. I always did like walking barefoot anyways! ;)


Kiki said...

God is doing a mighty work in you! I am so encouraged by what I have read. I love your photo of the shoes!!! Your gifts are being used to His glory. I am grateful to even know you.

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