Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sweetly Broken

I know you will be happy to hear that my skin rash is almost cleared up, and, after another Benadryl Sunday night, I awoke feeling great on Monday!  I still have no good idea what was happening in my body, but I am very thankful to be free of it.

Sunday was a rough day for me.  Other than dealing with the itchy junk, I just couldn't stop the tears.  I think there is a depression that people kinda go through when they return from a mission trip.  

It wasn't just me feeling it.  Various teammates were struggling too.  Maybe the travel, the exhaustion of the work catching up with us and the emotions that go along with it.  I don't know exactly, but it gets harder to leave and readjust each time.

I don't know any other way to say it:  a piece of my heart gets left there.  I feel torn in two when I get home.  I don't regret going, but I also don't really know how to handle what I feel in returning.

For days, I will see little brown faces and eyes when I fall asleep or wake up.  I just love them...with a love I don't know how to describe.  There is a longing in me that doesn't seem to get filled until I see them and hold them again.

I love the work we do because it is about building relationships with these same children.  However, because we are building meaningful intimacy with them, we get more attached and it gets harder to part ways.  One little girl I had to pry off of me and put her in line to leave!  Another one, I had to ask to keep with me a little longer because she was so sad her sponsor didn't get to come back this year.  She just kept crying...and so, of course, did I!

It rips my heart!  But yet, I never want it to stop ripping my heart.  I never, ever want to grow callous to it!

I need God's strength and wisdom right now.  I need His balance...His holy equilibrium I heard it called today!

I better let my emotions cool before I talk about the kiddos anymore.

Anyway, I spent Monday running to various appointments, one of which was for a mani/pedi from my hubby.  Nothing like getting your feet all cleaned up after wearing flip-flops in a dusty city!  That was lovely!

I opted to spend some time with my parents that day as well and let the to-do list take the back burner.  The boys did get some school work done, but we didn't push it hard.  My friend, Jeff, who I grew up with, was messaging with me that day about letting go of his daddy as he lay dying from cancer, and I just felt like it was a reminder that relationships are more important than keeping up with the rat race of to-do's.

Jeff's dad did pass on last night.  Death always has a way of refocusing us doesn't, it?  

I just feel sad.  But, I know in time, my sadness will wane a bit, and I can focus on being thankful that, again, God provided me with the opportunity to look a hundred something children in the eye and say some version of, "You are loved.  You can do this.  You can make a difference in your life, your family, your community, your country, your world!" 

I am still just in awe that God had it planned before I ever was...that I would step my feet on the soil of Nicaragua and impact lives of children.  Who would have thought???

It's so easy to feel insignificant in this great big world, but you just never know how one word from you...one action...may change someone's life forever.

When those children look into our eyes to see if we remember them, realize we do, and then come running into our arms...man, it's the best feeling to be part of that!

I cannot express the depth of my thanks for those of you who helped me go...whether it was financially, prayerfully, or by molding me into the person I have become, THANK YOU SO MUCH.  I pray with all my might that I could enable these children as you have me...to be people who do their part to make a difference.

I can't rescue every child, but those I can, I sure will...even when it feels like it might break me.


Jennifer said...

Amen! You express some of my same feelings so eloquently.....I also see the brown faces and additionally I hear Spanish Praise & Worship music.... Thank you for blogging...

Katie Ashcraft said...

sounda so wonderful... you paint a beautiful picture of how you can be torn between 2 places. I love kids so much I can only imagine how having those kids run and hug you and remember you...

Oh now that you're home I can't wait to get my pic in the mail ;o)

(no pressure!!!)f