Just one more day left in the great state of Washington.
I could let my current state of broken exhaustion speak to whether the time here has been “successful,” but I’m not sure that it should. We’re big fans of simple summaries. “How was your trip?” “It was good, thanks for asking,” or “Oh man, it was bad, glad that’s over.”
It’s unkind to get mad at people for asking this very generic question as they pass you in the hallway but I have never found simple summaries easy. I need to talk to several people who are willing to listen to me ramble for a while as I figure out what just happened before I can feel comfortable with this one or two sentence response.
I had a good day of realization on Sunday. I had just spent several days doing nothing because of some intense neck pain and I had a “support raising lunch” to be a part of after church. During church the pastor talked about our false selves and how the goal is to lay those down, let God work on us and learn from him about our true selves. I hear that message with my life. I have always felt this sureness that no matter what the social standard is, I will likely not measure up, so the best thing I can do is combat my need for approval with total honesty and an appropriate level of vulnerability. It’s a bit like shock therapy for my false self and it keeps me trusting in God’s love and goodness…
So the lunch was had afterward and although I felt exhausted and empty, the friends who came were attentive, present and kind. After this I came back to the house where I’m staying and attempted to nap. Somehow I ended up laying there crying instead. The main reason was certainly a need for rest- it dismantles optimism and strength of all kinds. But God was exactly the friend I needed in that moment and as I lay there crying like an over stimulated toddler I really (in my mind) heard him saying, “It’s okay. You’re okay. It’s going to be okay.” As you might do for a very small child while you rub their back and then pull them into your arms.
I’ve said this before, but there is no ladder to climb. My whole job is to learn to receive God’s love and believe what he says both about himself and about humanity (including myself).
That is how my time is going. I have good friends. I have pushed myself too hard without rest and I have been given a lot of love and grace here. This new life as a missionary is not so clear cut, but I’m continuing to learn about God’s call- about when to rest and when to push forward, when to speak up and when to be silent. There aren’t a lot of simple summaries but in the midst of chaos, God is always good.
To those who walk with me, thank you. Thank you for cheering me on, rejoicing with me, crying with me, sharing your stories and smiles, your recipes and your resources. I love you.