Monday, October 6, 2014

I am Not Here To Be Comfortable

Honesty time.

India is uncomfortable.

It's hot. It's humid. You have no personal space. Very little people speak your language. So you are often jumping around playing charades and just trying to get the right amount of change. Or even the right amount of snacks. Do you know how many times we have come home with like 20 deep fried chilies when Caleb has attempted to ask for 4? Apparently however many fingers you hold up mean that's how many rupees worth you want times 10. 40 rupees worth of deep fried chillies? Really???

Don't get me wrong. I love India. For most people that come here, it is very much a love-hate relationship with all the craziness that it holds. Because as crazy as it is, it is always an adventure. Getting on the morning bus and buying deep fried chillies is always an adventure. So I am not at all complaining. But this has been our life for the last month. 1 month. All this crazy is just..normal now. Which just BLOWS my mind. But with normality, those feelings of being uncomfortable often creep in and you just start missing the joys of America...

Sleeping in a nice cushy bed.  Donuts. $5 pizzas. Fast food. Homemade chocolate chip cookies. Dare I say ---GROUND BEEF. Back home, we gloried in the days we could save enough money every week to buy Costco chicken. And now here we are. The chicken capital of the world.

And so, often in the midst of ministry, I just want to hop back on a plane to my cushy bed, eating donuts and pizza with ground beef all over it and indulge in shows like Once Upon a Time and Law and Order: SVU. Not because I desperately miss those things (even though I do), but because I want to be comfortable. And let's face it. I am not comfortable. I am unsure of myself. I often am tripping over my own words. I am figuring out the different dynamics of the groups of people we are ministering to, trying to find topics and activities that are engaging. And I find myself failing miserably. Or so I feel like I am.

There are 5 different life skills classes that I lead here in India. What is a life skills class you ask? Well, it's a class where you teach skills for life....?? I didn't really know when coming here either and then after looking at our schedule, I came to find I basically taught at least one class a day for 45 minutes at a time. To say the least, I felt unprepared, unqualified, and uncomfortable.Who was I to be able to teach about life? I am still trying to figure life out!

And so how did I cope with these feelings of inadequacy and uncertainty??? Well, I cried of course. I tried to take control and I couldn't, so I would cry and become discouraged and just question my whole reason of being here and just felt like going home, where it's comfortable. Where I could cry and have my pizza too. (I don't think that's a saying, but I just made it one.)

But God. He is so gracious to me. And so gracious to give me a husband that just keeps pointing me back to Christ. And through Caleb, God spoke to me. He said,
"You are not here to be comfortable."
The reason I am here is to share Christ. He is what I know. He is what I am sure of. He is the one in control and the one who brings comfort to my soul. And here, I am bound to be uncomfortable because the Lord is stretching me. He is using me. And He is the one that is equipping me to do the work I cannot do on my own. That is where I find comfort. It is not I who does this work, but Him who called me and whose Spirit lives in me.

So I have been doing something that is very much against my nature.
I have been letting go.
I haven't been over planning. I haven't been obsessing and staying up into late hours of the night, stressing and crying and trying to maintain some form of control or comfort. I have just been going into my days, trusting that the words God has given me is enough. Because He is. He is enough. And the Lord has given me a wonderful thing --peace. More honesty time. I am 5 weeks into this ministry and I still don't know what I'm doing. I still am all jumbled with my words. I still feel uncertain. But I have peace that the Lord's will is being done and that He is using us to fulfill that will.

So though I miss these comforts of home, I have been scared, and felt incompetent, I have not wished my days away because I am uncomfortable here. We have already been here for one month. Exactly. And before we know it, we will be home (we only have 6 weeks left, which is crazy). Until then, we will endure the heat and pizza-less days coupled with the days we feel inadequate and discouraged and take in everyday of discomfort we have left here to share Christ with these beautiful people.

Bringing the comforts of America to us every once in a while doesn't hurt either.  

Blessings from the Sharps


  1. Thanks for sharing this, Alicia. I am struggling with the desire to be more comfortable too, so this is very fitting for me to be able to read at this time, when God knew I needed it so much. God bless you guys! We're praying for you and can't wait to see you again!

  2. Enjoying your journals, Alicia and Caleb. Praying for you guys and the unreached Indian people.


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