Living here in Nasir tends to reveal much about a person. Coming here was a stripping away process--stripping away bits and pieces of my identity, stripping away my comforts, and stripping away the façade.  I learned an important, and startling, lesson over the last six weeks...

It turns out, I'm the same person here that I was in the States.  

WHAT?!? There was no complete transformation on the flight over? There was no miraculous turning into a perfect, grace-filled, selfless woman? 

The sin.  The junk.  The ugliness.  It's all still there.  One difference, however, is that here I notice it so much more because I cannot escape using my normal means.  I cannot spend countless hours on Pinterest.  I cannot meet up with friends for coffee.  I cannot wander from store to store aimlessly shopping.  Don't misunderstand me, in and of themselves, there's nothing wrong with those things. But I used them to hide from myself, to hide my sin, to hide from God's conviction.  With all of those things gone, and with the addition of some new and interesting stressors, that ugliness has reared its many heads.  

But the beautiful thing is this: while the flight over didn't magically transform my heart and remove every impure motive, deformed desire, and sin issue, God is the source of all grace and He is working on my heart amath amath (slowly, slowly). All of the ugliness and sin that I covered up in the States is raw here, but I'm begging God for the courage to face it head-on.  To war against it.  To confess it to others.  

So no, there was no miraculous transformation. I'm still me. But each day God transforms me a little more, and isn't that a miracle?