Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Last week I plummeted into the depths of despair. I was warned about this before coming here. I knew it was coming at some point. But normally this part of cultural adjustment happens earlier on in the game, not after 7 months of living in a new country/culture. I thought I had made it through the tough part without having to deal with these feelings. I was wrong. I'm not really sure what spurred it on, but I think it was a mixture of my own depression and pity party, and a deep oppression against my soul. My circumstances didn't change, only my reactions to them. This work is hard. I know that. I knew that before I came. But when you are about to embark on an adventure that you know is hard, it makes it all the more exciting. Once you're in the adventure, and it's hard, it is no longer as exciting. Then your mind begins to head down the slippery slope of despair with feelings of inadequacy, discouragement and wondering what in the world you are doing. That is, if you let it. I did. My work seemed mundane. Fighting injustice isn't just going into brothels and rescuing slaves. That is the climax. There is all the work in between. There is prep and post work that goes on behind the scenes that is not quite as thrilling. Add to that the difficulties of adjusting to this city and culture, on top of feelings of homesickness and loneliness... you can plummet pretty quickly. Again, if you let yourself. If you drop your gaze from Christ. It's crazy how your mind can make things out to be exponentially larger than they are. None of these things are things that cannot be dealt with and worked through. None of them are the end of the world, by any means. In fact, it's more the comforts of American I miss, rather than the necessities. I am by no means suffering here. And I feel like a wimp. I'm selfish. I really am. And I let the enemy stick his foot in the door of my soul... for several days.

I'm not really sure what sparked my gradual ascent out of my self dug pit of despair, but I got out, and started breathing fresh air again. It was God. And maybe a little sense talking from my amazing mother who told me to get over myself. Like mother like daughter. I would have said the same. And coming out of it was oh so glorious. Realizing how deeply good God is and how deeply in need I am of being redeemed is overwhelming. I realized that being here is not just about trying as hard as I can to impact other's lives, but I'm here so that God can draw me closer to his heart, in good times and bad. I'm not just here to help rescue the oppressed, but to be rescued by my Jesus. He continually purges me of things that I often didn't even know were there to be purged. Being in a place of complete vulnerability brings out the yucky things in you that you didn't know existed. And it is good. Painful, but good.

The day I climbed out of this despair I was able to write a story about a recent rescue operation our team conducted. The victim statements I read through were probably some of the hardest ones I've had to read through in awhile. Their stories were absolutely tragic. I cried. But for some reason, I didn't feel the deep sadness I usually feel. I felt an extreme sense of hope. Even though they've been rescued, they still have a long road of healing ahead of them. But there is hope. There is hope only because of Christ. And I also realized what an honor it is, to be putting the words of their stories on paper. It may not be that significant, but it's what God has called me to do for this season. And in the end, I love it.

So when you feel yourself beginning to plummet, don't take the shovel of self-pity and dig yourself deeper into the pit. There is nothing down there for you but mud. Look up. Look up to the beautiful blue sky. There's a world out there that needs you. Yes, some of us stay in the pit longer than others. Sometimes I unfortunately choose to sit and wallow for awhile. But once I look heavenward, I realize how much I was suffocating myself. You can't breath down there, and you begin to choke. Get over yourself. Get over your selfishness and pride. Realize how blessed you are.... and go do what God has called you to do. Because no one else can do the job that you were created to do. There are other people stuck in their own pits of despair. You might be their only lifeline. Let God rescue you, and then go forth and rescue others!

"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will SOAR on wings like eagles; they will RUN and not grow weary, they will WALK and not be faint." ~Isaiah 40:29-31

No comments:

Post a Comment