This place is beautiful. It really is. But living on an island is harder than I ever thought it would be. Some days I just feel like the Indian Ocean is about to swallow me up and I cannot escape. Like everything we do is public knowledge and there is no where to hide. And I don’t want to hide for long. Even just an afternoon would be fabulous. It just feels so small here. Like tiny. And the same. Everywhere. Today I am just not feeling it. And it is a lot of stuff adding up…….
Vague sickness has been lurking for about a week and has run it’s course though all of us except Miss Anni who has more energy and drama than the rest of our sicky selves can deal with at any one moment.
I thought I might get a few uninterrupted moments to just be quiet this week. Ya know think and read after getting Evy down for a nap. Right about the time I sat down two watoto from shule came over and asked me to come because a cow cart had rolled over the foot of one of my students. I set aside my book and grabbed my first aid kit and after putting J in charge of holding down down the fort for a bit headed out. The boy’s foot was beyond swollen and after sending some ice and pain relievers we made plans to take him to the hospital later. Within a span of 3 days I went to visit or took people to the hospital 4 times. Some days it is just constant. Lately I also feel a bit overwhelmed after some misunderstandings on our team. No big deal but I feel like I just want to hide my face in my pillow. Between that and the demands of being part of the community of our neighborhood I am choka (tired). The cost of real community with people different than us is sometimes painful. No, I think always painful. And stretching but the thing is I would never trade it. But still, there it is.
Then some well intentioned but sorta rude comments about adoption popped up and added to the “ick.” Because really, let’s be honest, all “have you really thought this through?” means is “I do not think you have thought this through cuz if you did you obviously would have come to a different conclusion.” But then the real issue was that the vague feelings of my own worries and fears about adding another lil’ soul to the mix here have a place to reside and I feel raw.
I guess I just had lots of moments that are stretching into days where I feel indifferent, joyless, and blah. Like no matter what we do here people are too set in their ways and as much as they say they want to learn or experience new things when it comes down to it we are all lazy. Creatures of comfort. People who veer towards the known. And we are afraid. Me too. Me especially.
It just sucks. Not a specific or fixable thing… just a vague suck-ness.
Yesterday after a long day I just wanted to end we got both kids in bed early (WooHoo!) and I (Jason was out) came in our room to try to read but the stinkin’ bar next door (yeah, on an island where the religious law outlaws drinking we got the unfortunate luck of living feet away from a bar!) is blasting music so loud I feel like the wall is shaking and it add insult to injury it must be Celine Dion hits from the early 90’s-night. Argh! I go to grab my ear plugs but only have one and our back up supply has finally run out. Double Argh! Determined to some how block some of the blaring loud music I plug one ear and thrust the other side of me head into the pillows. Did not help. Not so much. I just wanted to cry. Not because of the bad 90’s music you see but because it all adds up to a breaking point that for this emotional wreck of a woman was too much.
I am not making much sense but really that is because my head and heart are heavy. And I process by writing and blabbering on….. I am searching and grasping at some semblance of balance. The issue really is that we live in a place where that seems so out of reach many days. Where personal time and space are just not needed. Where things are urgent and yet at the same time everyone has all day. Our friends have celebrations, joys, tragedies, and issues that keep us busy and constantly seeking after Him because we alone have no answers. No quick fixes. The needs are overwhelming here and they keep coming. There is never a shortage of people who have a shida (problem) or something that requires attention. And then there is the make-us-want-to-bang-our-heads-against-the-wall constant things in need of our attention; small requests from friends, stuff breaking, water flooding your car (to mention one from last week). I just want to hide or at least not have to make tough choices. And it is not that I think I can do everything. I have learned that lesson. I cannot. And I do not want to be self sufficient. I do not want to serve, love, or be out of my own strength because it can never be enough. Really I know this. When I try I always get reminders of my own deseperate need for a Savior. Or even that we understand what to do. We don’t. But still to discern, to get over our selfishness, to choose, to listen and hear from the Spirit is difficult especially when the noise crowds me into my own head.
Some days I just feel defeated and icky and blicky (those are words…sure!). And stretched too thin. But it is not easy to decide when and how to be. And how to live in Grace when I fail. When I am not able to be with the girls or at home all the time I feel like I am missing out or failing my family but when I am home all the time I feel a desperate sense that I want to be with people. Be teaching, be learning, be experiencing all that is around me. It is a constant pull. I guess all this rambling to say I am just needing that peace that only He can provide. I really do not think I will feel complete “balance” or if really that is my goal in the Oprah-self-help-granola sense of the word. Because I do not want everything to be figured out or have “it’s place” because for me that would mean clenching too tightly to MY ideas or MY goals and leave no room for Him to work. The thing is when I shut up long enough to listen I sense deep in me that I am not supposed to be comfortable. I never see that in His Word. In His life. I don’t want to seek after comfort where I never have to live what I say I believe. I want a messy life. I do not want us to hold onto anything tightly but His Word and promises. I know that is what He calls me to. That is why He brought us here to teach us that us having everything figured out is not really living. He has more for us. He has abundance.
Lord help me find your peace in this space and truly learn what you mean…Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.”
Oh Rox, my heart aches for you. While I pray for rest for you (Come to Me all who are weary, and I will give you REST), I'll pray for some re-stirring up for me of the conviction that we are not made for a comfortable life. I used to remember that, but now that things are getting pretty comfortable over here, it is OH so easy to believe that Comfort=Blessed. My heart aches for your burdens, and secretly longs for your head-first dive into the EPIC life. A raw, uncomfortable life that matters. Thank you for sharing, and helping us know how to pray for you, and reminding us that we are not called to hunker down in a shady spot, but to get out there and suffer with people. And that will eventually mean we will suffer too. He is faithful, and He will sustain us.
Your fears, emotions, and exhaustion are normal. That is why so many of the memories of my life are a blur. We all live in a fog of not always being able to do what we want with our lives, because someone else needs us to do what they need of us. You has less personal support being so far away from those who could help give you some time alone. In all the demands on you, you must fine personal time to recharge yourself. You can only be the best wife, mom, friend, teacher, if you are the best you, you can be, to yourself. Use some of the $ I sent for a pedicure at the hotel we went to. Or a massage. Reload. I can send more $. Love, Mom, who has been there.
Roxanne, So thankful for your transperancy in times like this. It helps me to better pray for you, as well as allows me to see that others struggle with the same things I do. I remember being in Africa and feeling this way. It's a hard spot to be in. And come January (Lord willing!) when I come back, I know I'll experience times like this again. But our God is bigger than it all. I'll leave you with a few verses from my Bible study this week. ABOVE YOU are God's overshadowing wings. (Psalm 91:4)BENEATH YOU are God's everlasting arms. (Dueteronomy 33:27)AROUND YOU the angel of the Lord encamps on all sides to deliver you. (Psalm 34:7)INSIDE YOU God's peace that passes all understanding guards your heart and mind. (Philippians 4:7) Take heart, and know He is carrying you!Love ya girl,Jess**Oh, and as far as the adoption thing…my heart says GO for it, and love one that has never been loved. I too, want to adopt from S. Africa, and am praying that it happens for me. I know what your feeling…those kids just get into your heart. 🙂
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