May 15 marked the end of four months in Moldova. On the first of June I’ll be moving out of my current living situation and I’m eager for the change.
I found my current room in the classified section of the local newspaper. My primary purpose for choosing this situation was to help me with conversational Russian. This goal was not met. My conversations in Russian have rarely moved beyond “Good morning, Goodbye.” This is what I say every day when my host unlocks the door for me to leave. I sometimes try a few new words at the door when I return home, but I can barely get them out before my host turns into her room and shuts the door.
I appreciate the fact that she has opened her home to me, even if only for the money I pay her each month. She has also learned to live with me and my strange foreign ways. At one point she revealed to me some of her story (in Romanian language), but I would not like to betray the small ounce of trust I gained by sharing publicly the details of her private life. Rather, I will share with you about myself, and what I have learned to be true of me while living in a difficult situation.
I have struggled to want to stay in this living situation because I hate feeling like I am constantly upsetting someone. I have always tried to please people, since the time I was a little girl. In this particular situation, I have found that to be impossible. I’ve been corrected for using too much hot water, for leaving my light on in my bedroom when I walk into the kitchen to make a cup of tea and for drying clothes on my radiator rather than hanging them outside even in sub zero temperatures (to my surprise, frozen clothes do eventually dry… unless it’s snowing out). I’ve turned off the faucet too tight, shut the refrigerator door too hard, left the toilet running because I forgot to jiggle the handle after flushing, set my dishes out to dry on a delicate counter top that could possibly absorb moisture and consumed toilet paper in the bathroom and matches for the stove that I did not personally purchase.
I very much dislike upsetting others. In this case, I eventually had to accept the fact that I am as imperfect as the next person, and will very often disappoint, upset and even hurt others, even if inadvertently.
Another lesson I’ve learned about myself is that I highly value transparency. Living with silence is very hard for me.
This is where I arrive at a dilemma. I want to be transparent without upsetting anyone. But that, I have found, is impossible. In the past months with my host and other friends, I have chosen transparency over harmony which has been painful, but necessary.
This is where you can pray for me, and I will pray for you. Pray that I will have courage to speak when it’s time to speak and wisdom to be silent when it’s time to be silent. Pray that I will follow Christ, even when He asks me to deny myself and carry a cross. And pray that I will not so much be concerned with pleasing others as much as I am occupied with pleasing Him.
Below are the lyrics to a beautifully profound song that my team mate, friend and future room-mate, Annie Keith, recently shared with me. Pray for me, and I will pray for you.
by Kendall Payne
I will pray for you now for you have been my faithful friends
While the road we walk is difficult indeed
I couldn’t not ask for more than what you’ve already been
Only that you would say these prayers for me:
May your heart break enough that compassion enters in
May your strength all be spent upon the weak
All the castles and crowns you build and place upon your head
May they all fall come crashing down around your feet
May you find every step to be harder than the last
So your character grows greater each stride
May your company be of humble insignificance
May your weakness be your only source of pride
What you do unto others may it all be done to you
May you meet the one who made us
And see him smile when life is through
May your blessings be many but not what you hoped they’d be
And when you look upon the broken
May mercy show you what you could not see
May you never be sure of any plans you desire
But you’d learn to trust the plan he has for you
May your passions be tried and tested in the holy fire
May you fight with all your life for what is true
I have prayed for you now all of my dear and faithful friends
But what I wish is more than I could ever speak
As the way wanders on I’ll long to see you once again
Until then, would you pray these prayers for me?
Oh that you would pray for me.