Almost 3 months since I returned from a 2 week mission in the Dominican Republic. I left my heart behind, and truly I didn't mean to, or expect myself to do that, but I did.
Duane Scott really puts into words how I feel, I'd quote the whole post that he wrote on return from a mission in Haiti, but you can find it here.
He writes, "Nothing looks the same anymore and I remember the team leader telling us "make sure you have someone you can talk to when you get home" but I didn't listen then, because I didn't think Haiti had changed me that much. But now, I realize, the change had only just began."
And seriously, I can relate, and I am him, and I wish I wasn't, I wish his words didn't ring true, as true as they do. But still they do, and I need to let those emotions come through so that I can even begin to understand them, and deal with them, and learn what my response to them should be.
He continues, "...nobody understands anymore and I don't even understand myself anymore and I can't talk to anyone, even my wife because she wasn't there in the "rape camp" with me. But God was and I'm begging Him, pleading with Him to just hold me, show me how to help in my small way and somewhere along the way, my prayers have changed as the darkness envelopes; somewhere my prayers have changed to directly address the devil that he just leave me alone in this, that I've had enough, that I need to just take a moment to rediscover myself.
And then I switch, tell the Lord he needs to leave me alone too, that I need to go back to my comfortable lifestyle of expensive gadgets and everything I ever want and never having to deny myself because this is all so uncomfortable."
It IS uncomfortable, and I do feel under attack, and I am sorry but I do just want to be left alone. I just want people to STOP talking at me, trying to understand because they just don't, and it just hurts, and I just don't know what to do with myself anymore, I feel uncomfortable in my own skin. And it is so easy to despair.
And I'm sorry, I'm sorry for quoting such a huge piece, but this isn't something I can put into words. And Duane can, and he shows me the truth of how I am feeling through his words. For it IS how I have been feeling, and, yes, I do continue to feel it too. I know its been almost 3 months, but still I'm stuck in the past really, underneath it all I know I am. It gets me down and makes my insides turn, because the truth is I just don't like this feeling.
This is a feeling I've never experienced, or even imagined, before. And the new-ness of it hurts, and makes me feel sick, and makes me want to scream at it to go away, and because its new I don't know how to respond, and I feel uncomfortable in my own skin.
For years and years and years I had been building this person, I was making me, my parents started the forming, my family helped, and their friends, and then my friends too, and all these people have been placing their bricks, building me into me.
But suddenly I flew all the way to the Dominican Republic, and the brick that was placed was the wrong shape, it was circle instead of square. And it has left me unbalanced, unsure, confused. It has left me yearning, and longing to be back there, with not much of a reason or explanation that I can put into words.
And I know that God placed that brick, I know that He is behind all this, and that this is part of His plan, and He had the detailed architectural diagrams drawn out years ago, even before the first star twinkled. He knew when to give all this to me, all these funny, uncomfortable, new feelings that seem to have come with this funny shaped brick, He does know about them. He planned the placing of this brick in so much detail that the precise-ness goes far beyond any human understanding.
So it is only by trusting the perfection of God's plan for me that I'm ever going to get through this.
And honestly, I'm not completely sure how, but I can see that I am starting to get through. I don't want it to stop being uncomfortable, because one of the biggest things I have realised in all this, is that I am, we, as God's people, are, set apart from the world, when we choose to let God in, when we place Him on the throne, at the steering wheel, of our lives. So never should I feel comfortable when I'm surrounded by all the things of this world, because it is not until I enter His Kingdom that I will find my home and be comfortable.
But what I am realising is that even in all this uncomfortable-ness there is hope for the now, because as Kingdom-builders we are here to let God, by His love, and grace, and mercy, work in us and through us, to bring heaven down to earth.
To open up the space, to lay out the foundations for holy ground, to show love with no agenda or conditions.
And maybe, just maybe, I am starting to let myself move on. To start living right where I am.
Maybe I am pulling the strings attached to my heart to pull it back in. Because, the truth is, I can't make time stand still, and I can't wish myself back to the Dominican Republic, and I can't make everyone understand what is going on in my head.
Still I do wish I could, but as I realise more and more that it is never going to happen, and even as I plead with God asking Him to book a plane back out there for the morning, I do know His answer really. Deep down my heart is coming to terms with His telling me to wait.
And even as other things come along, and my life continues, I need to learn to live fully right where I am. Because truthfully I am not throwing every part of me into everything I do, I am holding back, because it just makes me angry, and things still seem ever so pointless, and that is ok. It is ok for my feelings and emotions to still be a bit all over the place, because it is going to take time to come to terms with all this.
But I do have the time, it is there, and I need not worry about it, I need to learn to live right now, this second, and cherish this second, because God has given me it as a gift, and He knows that if I use this second in the right way, if I wait, His plans will be fulfilled, and I don't know what His plans are, but I do know that they are amazing, and completely overflowing with never-ending hope. And I know that His plans are for the now as well as the then, so there is amazing-ness, and TONS of hope in this place now, in this waiting.
Duane finishes, "...I never want God to quit changing me."
I am finding this change, this new, uncomfortable feeling, VERY scary, and daunting, and there is a big part of me that wants to run, and run, and run in the opposite direction, but I just have to trust. Because I know I don't want to stop changing for God.
God, work in me? Through me? Please? I can't do any of it without you, by my own strength I am never going to understand, or learn to live with this uncomfortable feeling. But I know that you placed this brick, that this is part of your plan, so as you have already placed the bricks to support this new brick, please keep building around, to hold me in place, to keep me stable, to keep me standing, and please help me out of the boat? Help me to dare to live (safely (in His arms)) EVEN in the waiting. Help me to do all that I can. Help me to love like you love. Help me to trust you completely. Thank you for your love, and grace, and understanding even, and especially, when I am confused. AMEN!