Ive never moved as much as I have in the past two weeks. It really started about three weeks ago as we started to move furniture out of our apartment in Toulouse, FRANCE and now here I am, in small town Wisconsin (will take pictures/video once the place is done). Its such a difference. In Toulouse it was sidewalk war, who would step to the gutter while the other passed by on the sidewalk, here strangers ask me how Im doing and will stop to talk with me on the street.
In France I bought bread about every three days from the store down the street, now there is no store down the street (however the farmers market is just out my front door once a week!). In France I was on the third floor, and here Im on the third floor. There are no lardons in the US, but I had bacon with pancakes for breakfast today. Here I understand every word of praise and exaltation of Christ, where in France I could translate them (yes there is a difference).
The most drastic difference is how freely the spirit of God moves here in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Its unreal, I knew there was oppression and darkness abounding in France but it wasnt obvious until I returned here to see the fullness of it. To my surprise I found myself resisting the light and spiritual climate here by telling myself that it is fake, that they are phoney, and that it is somehow superficial. Not superficial in their experience, but how could their be a place like this when France was so dark and destitute? While I dont have an answer to that question, simply being aware to the question has allowed me to re-embrace the blessing of openness and warm spiritual climate here (imagine an Alaskan from Point Barrow going to the equator for vacation in winter).
Not to glorify the state of the church in the US, I see things very differently being back after only a year. I am simply saying that the culture and spiritual climate here are very refreshing to my heart and I am actively choosing to be encouraged and inspired in my faith, instead of cynical and condemning. I could use a prayer from you for your help in this, and praise God for showing me all this.
In the name of my lovely savior,