Resilience

re.sil.ience (noun)




1. The capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused by compressive stress

2. An ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.

Resilience is a word that's been swirling in my head the past few days. Sometimes, life just throws you curveball after curveball that leaves you sweating and groaning, ready to throw in the towel. But you stick with it, suck it up, push through, and get through it. Then, you're hit on the other side.




This weekend felt like the World Series. Saturday went a bit like this:

3:36 a.m: Wake up to a brown-out (the electricity isn't quite cut off, but low enough to make your high powered fan buzz and turn like an old man). Electricity continues to cut on and off through the night.

7:24 am: Roll out of bed. Listen as the electricity finally dies for good. Start worrying about the turkey stashed in your freezer.

10:15 am: Electricity comes back on. Sigh in relief. Load up the car and drive to the border to go to Thailand for doctor appointments.

10:46 am: Hit the Thai immigration office. See approximately 300 people in line. Settle in for a long afternoon.

11:15 am: Coffee run. Still in line. Start a group Scrabble game on Kindle.

1:02 pm: Fried rice run. Move 20 feet. Still in the sun, about 95 degrees.

2:10pm: Make it inside to the waiting room. Listen as tourists outside start booing every group tour that gets bumped ahead in line.

2:36 pm: Getting closer to the counter. Listen to the guy in front of you talk about his food poisoning and worry he's going to pass out or worse, have diarrhea right there in front of you.

3:05 pm: Almost to the counter. Beg the Khmer lady behind you to let Andrew jump in line. He's 20 people behind in a different line. She agrees. Watch a European shove an immigration guard. Pray that you get out before a mob starts rioting.

3:21 pm: Finally get through immigration after a 4+ hour wait. Frantically find a van. Wait an hour for it to leave. Discover you are stuck in a spot in the very back corner with half the leg room as an airplane seat. Settle in for a very long ride.

8:39 pm: Arrive in Bangkok. Relief. 

9:09 pm: Panic. Friend traveling with us realizes she left all her phone sim cards in the van. Run back to van, praying to find the driver and the van. Miraculously recover the cards in a filthy corner of the van with used tissues, sticky soda bottles, and discarded straws.

9:45 pm: Skype with family. Hear about their great Thanksgiving dinner, playing cards and eating pie. Wish you were in America.

10:03 pm: Head out to the street. Eat pad thai. Return to hostel. Drift into exhausted oblivion.

Yup, that was all one glamorous day. The next day, I met with a doctor, which was successful. I then headed to the orthodontist's office and discovered that she wasn't actually working that day, despite the fact I'd made an appointment two months ago. I couldn't really be angry because even if they'd tried to call me, I never have my Thai phone turned on while I'm in Cambodia. I realized I'd have to make the whole trip over again in two weeks.

We returned home Sunday night, wiped out. Monday, the water went off at our house. I didn't pay much attention to it until late in the afternoon. I asked the landlord when the water would come back on, and he looked at me, shocked, "You don't have water?!" He made some calls and discovered that our water had been turned off because a 500-riel bill - 12 cents - hadn't been paid while we'd been home in America. Unfortunately, the office was closing since it was 5 pm. And even more unfortunately, it wouldn't open again until Friday because it was (ironically enough) Water Festival in Cambodia. That's right, for the duration of Water Festival, we will have no running water in our house.

Sometimes, I wonder, God, why do you let these minor but seriously annoying events happen? It's just exhausting dealing with issue after issue. But, I think God is teaching us to be resilient. We're learning that sometimes you have to suck it up and just get on with it, or keep waiting, and tough it out. Eventually, those little things go away, life moves on, you get to your destination, and you know what? You're still alive. I know there will be events that happen in our lives that will rock us to the core of our beings, that will challenge everything we believe about God, the world, and ourselves. But God is faithful and he is present, and if we remain steadfast and wait on the Lord, the bad times will stop, and life will move on.