I prayed a simple prayer tonight, “teach me to love the season I’m in, God.” Life won’t always be easy, and there will be times that you just want to throw in the towel. There are days when you want to bang your head against the wall in frustration and that’s okay.
I remember talking to a child at camp a little over a week ago. She was upset about something and I can’t honestly tell you why, but she told me that she hated her counselor. I got down to talk at eye level with this precious little girl and I told her, “you have the right to your feelings. You do not have the right to hurt someone else because of them though.” I can still picture how big her eyes got. She asked me, “you’re saying it’s okay that I’m mad at her?”
I loved this kid in her honesty. She was probably so used to people telling her not to hate people that my approach to things shocked her. I told her absolutely! We then went to play on the swings.
Feelings and emotions are such a big part of life. Why should we deny how we’re feeling? Today I’ve been feeling a mix of hurt, frustration, but also some joy. Life isn’t something you can put in a box. You can’t wake up in the morning and know how you’ll feel all day. Thank God that life isn’t black and white like that, right?
I may have wanted to bang my head against the wall in frustration today but I also find myself to just taking in this moment and wanted to save it. Bethel music playing and spending time with my sisters. I know that these days will come to an end all too soon. We’re getting older and we will all have our own separate lives. We’ll always have this bond but we won’t always have this season of life. I’m not praying for God to help me love everything about my life. I’m just asking him to teach me to love this season.
I feel like there will still be days that I blurt out that I can’t wait for A B and C because that’s growing up. I just don’t want to rush through these bumps in the road because there uncomfortable only to miss living in the present moment because this moment is so frustratingly good.
In one of my classes we’ve been talking about how fear/anxiety drives you. It’s one of the few things I empathize with so deeply. I know what it’s like to live in fear, and to have that drive you. People tell you to just stop living like that; to just be brave.
I’m not brave though. I haven’t ever been brave. I remember that even when I was younger I was always anxious. I was always planning for what could go wrong. I’m still planning for what can go wrong. Do you want to know my biggest fear though?
I’m afraid that I’m too good at being alone. I am shy, and I don’t tend to start the conversation. I am awkward, and a little bit weird. I push people away because I’ve been hurt so I do what it takes so that I never have to feel the pain of rejection, or loss again. I wish I could change this, but the truth is that I just don’t know how. I’m good at being alone. I’m good at putting on a fake face, and saying that everything is good even though it isn’t. I’m good at embracing the anxiety that people are just pretending to care about me. At a certain point you just get to a point where you are comfortable being alone even though you’re so lonely your heart aches.
I am not even good at friendships guys. I get exhausted at the thought of constantly having to be “on.” I think that means I may have had the wrong kind of friends in the past because I should be able to just be myself around friends, but I am not there yet. I’m working on it. Relationships are a lot of work. Maybe that’s why I’m alone?
No matter what church I’ve gone to all I hear is how the people of the church want to change the world, but that’s it…It’s all talk. I didn’t want to be like that, and I decided that if I wanted to change the world then I was going to have to get up, and do something. I wasn’t going to talk it out until I’m blue in the face. I saw a need, and I was going to fill it.
I have gone to two camps for foster kids as you know, and I’ll leave for the third shortly. I’m a little nervous after the last one because it was a rough week. It isn’t me though because if I was doing this on my own then I might as well throw in the towel now. I won’t get far in my own strength. God has called and appointed me to go, and do this work, but he made no promises that it would be easy. I’m ready for whatever that weekend brings me because I know I’m not alone.
I just hope that if people see people my age changing the world that they’ll be inspired to stop talking, and join in. You can’t ever be prepared for ministry. You can dot your I’s, and cross your T’s, but in the long run you can’t be prepared for what’s going to happen 100% of the time.
I can almost guaranty that you’ll be emotional drained when you take on ministry in a hands on way. I cried so many times this summer because this world is so broken. It seems I can’t turn it off. *Wipes tears from cheek.* Feel those emotions fully because they are what will fuel you to keep going on the hard days.
You’ll also be exhausted. You’ll be more tired than you’ve ever been in your life. Do not neglect yourself. Sleep, eat, hydrate, and refill spiritually. It’s also good to goof off sometimes because laughter is the best medicine.
Ministry of any kind is not for the weak of heart, but rather for those who have had their heart completely broken by the pain they see in this world. I asked God to break my heart for what broke his at the age of 16, and he answered. It’s why I’m always an emotional mess. It’s also why I have a heart full of compassion. I dare you to ask God to do the same for you. “BREAK MY HEART FOR WHAT BREAKS YOURS!”
“Don’t pull away. Don’t withdraw.” Someone close to me said this today because when my brain is under an intense amount of stress I pull away from people. If it comes down to a fight or flight mode for me, I am always going to choose flight. I told my best friend that I wished I could just run away today. She said that it might be good that I can’t run away from this right now. It doesn’t take away the flight response though, guys. My heart still wants to run.
So now I have to learn how to deal with this without running; what do I do when my feet have to stay firmly planted? What happens if I don’t withdraw? I just know that I am going to be okay. Life can hurt real bad in the moment, but it will get better in time.
My walls are back up though. I don’t know how to tear them down again. It’s just so…Complicated.