As I was jotting down some ideas for this series, I realized that one of the topics I wanted to include was covered in a short essay I wrote a couple of years ago when the café first opened. I reread that blog entry and found that the way I expressed myself then is still the way I would express myself today. Rather than retread that ground with a separate essay, here are the salient paragraphs from July 7, 2008’s entry:
One of the lies of the enemy is that to be obedient to what God calls us to, we will end up living in one of the worst places we can imagine, doing work that we find distasteful or boring, basically trying to get by being someone we are not. We fear that whatever we most don’t want to do, that is what God will ask us to do.
The truth is, following Jesus is hard—it is the way of the cross. And He does want me to be someone I am not—someone holy and sanctified and loving and good. And He died and rose again so that I could trust Him to make me all those things.
But He doesn’t want to change the things that make me Rebecca, doesn’t expect me to give up the interests and abilities and talents that He Himself gave me before I ever drew a breath. He wants me to lay them at His feet, offering them up as a beautiful sacrifice, and trusting that He will use them and me for His good purposes. So whether I eat or drink, or make things for others to eat or drink, or learn a minority language or teach English, or whatever I do, I will do all to the glory of God.
Add to that “whether I live in Asia or America, whether I write children’s stories or travel essays.”
Here’s to the past few years of living and working in China, sometimes within my talents and giftings, and sometimes very much beyond them. And here’s to the next chapter—may it be full of the joy of knowing that it’s only by grace that I have any chapters at all.
Next in the “Finishing Well” series: ”Reflecting on ‘If’“