Two years later, I cannot say I feel the same way. What I realized two years ago was that I wanted to live my life solely for Him and not the fact that it had to be in Hong Kong. Rather, I associated with being with Him as being in Hong Kong. The Father is bigger than a place, a people group, a culture.
I celebrated my third birthday this year in Hong Kong, my twenty-third. It was one of my most stretching days that summer and it's probably one that we will stick to my memory for a very long time! It has only been two years and I saw more than my wrinkles increase, but how much the Father continually alines my heart with His.
When I left Hong Kong this summer, there was a peace in my heart. This time when I left, I did not see it as my relationship with the Father becoming more distant. Rather, I saw how much He was working in me and will continue to do so no matter where I am.
I always get asked all the time -- "How long do you think you'll stay in Cambodia?" Truth is, I do not know. If you were talking to me when I was 21, I would of said, forever. At 23, I have realized that a place does not make who I am but my faithfulness to follow where He has called me to go. My joy comes from being in His presence rather than in a geographical location. Different people have different views. We're all shaped by our past experiences and whatnot. To expect someone to be the same person they were when you first met is unrealistic and selfish.
Over the years, people voiced their opinions on how I must be living life wrong if the Father hasn't grounded me to one place yet. I have attended three different universities, "served" in two different countries, and changed my major a handful of times. Each time those transitions came about, others have told me that I must not be seeking the Father hard enough, because if I really did...I would be attending the perfect university from the beginning. If I was doing it right, I would be committed to living in Cambodia forever by now. Without any particular event in my past, I would not be where or who I am now.
I cannot make any promises that the Iris today will be the same as tomorrow. I am currently living in Asia at this moment but I cannot promise you that will be true six months from now. It is not because I have commitment issues, but I fail to let my emotions lead my life. When I was 21, the Father wanted me in Hong Kong. He wanted me to serve the people there wholeheartedly. As I sit here this moment, this is where He wants me, Cambodia.