I love this picture of me on the Brooklyn Bride. This was taken my first morning in New York City. I remember staring at the beautiful bridge with the New York City (NYC) skyline behind me and thinking, I am home. I also remember thinking, I am in love. In love with a city that I had loved from afar for four decades and now, was breathing the air of and falling deeper in love. I still can’t actually believe that I hadn’t built NYC so far up in my head and heart that it would be a disappointment. It surely was anything but a disappointment! It blew my expectations away and now, I find myself heartsick and homesick.
While NYC is dense with people (8.4 million to be exact), it has these beautiful pockets of peace throughout. When we first got to Brooklyn, we found a lovely little deli where we grabbed some breakfast and then a cute park where we just sat and enjoyed the moment. Waves of commuters rising up out of the subway. Birds walking about seeking breakfast. Street vendors setting up for their day. Then we walked a few blocks to the staircase that delivers you to the boardwalk on the Brooklyn Bridge and just took it all in. It was a sunny, cold morning and in one moment, all of my world came together and I understood why God had planted seeds of love for NYC in my heart. And don’t even get me started on Central Park! Talk about a peaceful place in the center of hustle and bustle.
I love people and I love story and here in NYC, I was being invited to hear these stories and love these people. While it is true that New Yorkers walk with purpose and don’t really make eye contact and smile at each other much, they are people who are out and about. More people walk and take public transportation than own cars and drive privately so by default alone, they are interacting with each other more just by walking past each other. The grocery shopping system out there is small, mom-and-pop style stores over larger grocery store chains. You know that people you are buying from and they know you. People hang out on the streets and talk to neighbors. I met several of the people who live in the apartment building we were staying at just from coming in and out of the door at the same time. It basically boils down to more people in a smaller space equals more interaction. For someone like me, that is pure glory!!
So now I sit back across the country from my city and I long to return. When I return, however, I don’t want to return for a visit and I want to return forever. God is offering me that opportunity through a position with an organization that trains people in cross-cultural outreach with the purpose of showing people the love of Jesus. My challenge is, it is requiring more faith than I’ve ever needed in my life. I have to raise funds to cover my salary and this is a hard piece of work. So many people only understand mission work to be going to foreign countries, that they downgrade those of us serving foreigners here in the United States. This is disheartening to say the least. I believe that God will bring what we need to relocate, it’s just hard some days to see it coming to pass. And isn’t that exactly what faith is? The assurance of things hoped for and the certainty of the things we can’t see. (Heb 11:1)
So this morning I sit in my chair, tears in my eyes and longing in my heart believing fully that God is in this season, and wanting this season to be over. I know that faith produces endurance which leads me to more maturity in my walk with Jesus and I want that, I just want it to be less painful. (James 1:3-4) Once again I am convinced, stepping out of the boat is the easier step of faith. Walking on the water in the midst of the storm is where our faith is tested and where we sink or we stand. I want to stand, trusting my lovely Redeemer.
PS…would you please prayerful considering partnering with me financially to support this work in New York City with International Project? To get more information on what International Project is up to, check them out at http://www.internationalproject.org. To support me personally, go to http://www.internationalproject.org/give and in the comments, put KBowman and your gift will go into my account. Monthly commitments are optimal and special gifts are just fine too! Thank you.