May 20, 2009
So, as most of you know, I am no longer in Cambodia. That doesn’t mean, however, that I am no longer seeing unusual things! So, I figured I’d keep blogging until you Americans understand how crazy you really are! Starting…. NOW!
Well, before I actually start that (sorry for the hesitation), I would like to get a little semantic and explain the title of my blog. I mean, a few of you might be thinking that I made an improper word choice and should have actually used the word “displaced” instead of “misplaced.” I have to say, that was my first thought too. But don’t you think “Indefinitely Displaced” sounds a little dramatic? I mean, I am only one person afterall…not a displaced people group. And my situation should in no way, shape, or form be compared to that of a refugee…right?
I did stick with indefinite though cause unlike my Cambodian friend Boremey who has the next 15 years of his life planned out, I have no idea what is going to happen after this summer. My plans to stay, my plans to leave, my plans for anything are all indefinite.
So, what to put with indefinite? As we’ve already discussed, displaced is out of the question. My next thought was misplaced because it was only one letter different. I know the meaning is very different, but here’s what I thought of when I put those two words together. Thanks so much for bearing with me!
You know how sometimes you misplace things, like car keys, remote controls,and hopefully not children. Well sometimes, I feel like God has misplaced me. I know that sounds strange and borderline blasphemous, but sometimes it feels like God picked me up in his right hand, grabbed his coffee with his left, placed me down where his coffee was supposed to go, and 6 months later asked Himself, “Now where did I leave that Elizabeth creature I made?….Oh, there she is! In Cambodia!” Then He picks me up and randomly places me in WI and the whole thing starts all over again.
Now, let me explain before you all revolt. (Hey, can you even stage a blogging revolt? Hmmm….)
I do believe that God is sovereign over all creation. And for this I am very thankful. As a child, the idea of being ruled by random chance terrified me–especially when I thought of near misses and “what ifs” and things. And despite my valiant and desperate efforts to be god over my own life, I am also thankful that is not my responsibility. Most of you right now are nodding in agreement, thinking of times I’ve lost car keys, softball gloves, money, etc. I mean, at this point, it’s a good thing I’m not responsible for any other living thing, much less all things–living or inanimate. If I was, I can guarantee you, I would have already lost each of you at least once, and maybe, God forbid, accidentally dropped you off in North Dakota or worse yet, Ohio (please Ohioans don’t be upset. I just really hated driving 4-5 hours through your long, boring, and unnecessary state to get to New York). And yet, though I know God is in control, there are moments of opposition, frustration, or confusion in my life that leave me feeling like God lost me. So, I stand on my feet, turn my head toward the heavens, and ask God, “Are you serious?”
Are you serious?
A combination of wonder and frustration and desperation all rolled into three simple words. My brother was the first to ask me this question, at his young age of 8 or 9. See, I was given the task to bring him and Rachel (the younger of my two younger sisters) to school that morning (again, we can all agree it’s good that I’m not in any position of real responsibility…).
I jump in the car, my siblings right behind me, slam the door, turn the key, and pull away from the curb. No sooner did the car begin to move, that my little brother asks me, “Are you serious?” (and again) “ARE YOU SERIOUS?” Not quite understanding his question, I ask, “Serious about what?” Rachel, aware of what was going on, interprets for me, very calmly might I add. “Elizabeth. Kevin is hanging halfway out of the car.” (Yes, they did make it safely to school that day.)
“Are you serious?” in Cambodia when I’m biking down street 163, hit a large pothole, get a flat tire, and a monsoon ensues. “Are you serious?” in New York when I find out that Wildwood Prom (school for kids with special needs has a prom every year. It’s the only prom I’ve ever been to and the only one I’d care to visit again!) is on the same night as the forum I’ve already committed to attending. “Are you serious?” when driving for 20 hours in the last 40 hours, get lost outside of Maryland, ask my hostess for directions and she says, “If you see the Effing Pond, you’ve gone too far.” (Yes, you need to read that last sentence out loud. And no, she actually said “Epping,” but that’s definitely not what I heard…)
So, as I sit here, misplaced currently in WI, surrounded by Norwegians, cheese, beer, and “Dontchya knows?” I am currently asking my amazing Creator, “Are you serious?”
I think He is.