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I’ve been living in La Paz for over three months now. You could say the “honeymoon” phase of living abroad has worn off. Especially after being in Texas for the holidays, I ache for the comforts of home.

Especially when I cracked an egg at 7 AM and it was rotten. Like really rotten. Or when $600 was stolen from my bank account. Or when a bus driver’s strike made us late to work because all the roads are blocked and they’re attacking people. And that’s just in the past 48 hours.

So to say I miss home is quite an understatement. I miss home cooked meals by my mama. I miss walking through the aisles of the grocery store and having a million choices. I miss sitting on the couch with my family. I miss sushi. I miss not being sick every week. I miss being held by my best friend. I miss worshipping in English. I miss the feeling of my heart feeling truly settled.

Life here in La Paz is anything but easy. Most days I feel like I’ve waded out too far into deep waters. I can usually keep my head above the waves because I know I was given strong legs to swim with, but sometimes my head goes under. I come up gasping for air and so desperate for a rescue. I look back at the shore and see people waving at me as they casually sit in the sand and enjoy the sunshine. I want so badly to be back on that beach. But I know there is a reason I felt called to swim out into the deep.

As much as I hate the feeling of the deep, I would choose it over the shallows. Because I know God designed me this way—to crave the deeper waters despite the uncertainty and fear.

I am only human, and incredibly flawed at that, so my natural tendencies turn towards the shallow waters.  The shallow desires of my heart are to hide from discomfort, to flee from the stretching and growing. In the nature of my flesh, I would rather hide instead of be exposed. Choose comfort and ignorance rather than meaning and wisdom. Be numb instead of raw. To merely survive, rather than thrive.

But the deep desires— the ones that really matter, the ones that prove there is Christ in me— are to dig into the tough season, to fight back fear and be brave.

To seek joy and gratitude rather than self-pity and despair.

I want to say no to the devil’s tricks to break me and yes to the mighty work that God wants to do in me.

I want to choose the eternal over the fleeting.

I want to choose the deep over shallow.

So I choose to trust Him in this wild season. I trust that He will be my rock to stand on. I know I will look back on this season spent in the deep, and be so grateful that God chose me to be here with Him.