Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Why I'm Not a Missionary Anymore, part 3...

But, it was still a crash…

And crashing sucks.

I knew I was where I needed to be, but like I said before, I hated it. I was still grieving the loss of Brandon. I was angry. I was heartbroken. I had lost so much in such a short amount of time. In just a few weeks I had experienced a tragic death, loss of job, and the end of a relationship. All of this spoke a booming “NO” into my being. The rejection and pain I felt with each of these “NOs” I internalized as a “NO” from God as well.

And this is about the time that my “survival mode” kicked in. I had internalized enough of the “NO” that I, subconsciously, did some rejecting of my own.

I stopped praying. I stopped writing. I stopped reading. I almost completely stopped listening to music. It would come in small bursts that I would say something to God, but honestly it felt like talking to empty space. I felt disconnected from God. From myself. And I desperately wanted to be disconnected from anyone who knew me well enough to challenge me to engage.

This lasted a few weeks.

It’s strange that you can know something in your head, but not accept it. Somewhere in me I knew that God wasn’t looking for reasons to exclude his creation (not even former missionaries who were spiraling all over the place). But I did not accept it. I had taught my students for years that God loves them no matter what. I had spoken into the lives of friends convinced that they were alone and unloved that God ‘s love was without limit and they were never alone. I was convinced of God’s eternal and unending love for his creation, ALL of his creation, all of them except me. Somehow there were conditions when it came to me. Certainly all of the “NO” in my life meant something, right?

Then one day I took a drive by myself to the North Shore. For the first time in a month or so, I listened to this song that had come to mean a lot to me while in Peru called, ‘I Love Your Presence’. A couple notes into the song and I was crying. And with the tears came the yelling, asking why all of this had happened. I cried and yelled and cried some more. I said I pissed about everything that had happened, how I had no clue what I was doing with my life, and would really like for him to give me a break.

And that’s when I heard the one word I needed to hear more than any other.

this sucks.

you are allowed to be angry.

it’s scary.

I’m right here.

You are in my care.

You are loved.


God was speaking his love and affirmation to me in the middle of my North Shore meltdown. And here is what I’m learning as a result: sometimes we get so caught up in the “NO” that we cannot hear the eternal “YES” God speaks into our lives. I’m not saying that we don’t experience “NO”. I’m not saying it doesn’t suck. I’m not saying that the “NO”s don’t matter because God speaks “YES”.

What I AM saying is that in the midst of “NO” we can hold onto hope that “YES” is being spoken somewhere, even if only in small whisper in the middle of great torments.

From there we will grow and be changed...

To Be Continued (again, I know)...

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