Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Live your life, don't just let life happen to you. ~Caz

I am quite possibly the worst blogger ever. I used to be so good about this. Ironically enough, I was much better when I had far less to say, at least far less to say of anything important. The deeper things are felt, the less inclined I am to share them with everyone. A while ago in our curriculum reading we read "The Way of the Heart" by Henri Nouwen about embracing silence and solitude. In it, he talked about how wordy we are as a culture and the more we talk about things, the less we feel them. I've noticed the opposite, the deeper my feelings, the less I want to speak them aloud. Which I guess is ultimately the same thing.

I've been spending a lot of time this last week daydreaming. Dreaming about what live used to be like, the things and people that are familiar. Caz said recently that by this time, two months in, people often start feeling like, "Well, this has been a great missions trip but I'm ready to go home now." I can relate to that. I started feeling very homesick for my friends in Pensacola especially and my little apartment with April and Sheila. I was so ready to leave Pensacola behind forever when I left in August and now there are moments I would give anything to be back there, back where things are comfortable and familiar. I was praying about this earlier today, that God would give me the strength and the faith to stay present and to trust that 10 months from now, everything is going to be okay and I am going to be where I need to be. I realized that He is answering my prayers to learn what it means to surrender and as He is teaching me to let go of the familiar and hold on only to Him, I am clinging desperately to the things He wants me to let go. I am clinging to the edge of the branch, not realizing that God is holding his arms out two feet below me ready to catch me the moment I decided to release my death grip.

I told this to Caz this morning at our team captain meeting. She commented that we are all like that; we all worry so much about what will happen and then finally when we get there, we are surprised to find that everything is still all right. Six months ago I was stressing about where I was going to go next and why I was feeling restless. And yet here I am, doing okay, living life in Camden, New Jersey. In 10 months, wherever I am, I will be doing okay and still living life. So why worry?

A lot has been happening in and around me these last two months, the retelling of which would make this blog WAY too long. But overall things have been going well. Working at the school is great and the teens I work with are a lot of fun...and sometimes a pain in my butt. :) My math skills are improving significantly. My church here is great, though really small. Bible studies have been really fulfilling and most challenging to a lot of my long-held doctrinal beliefs. I love it though; it is wonderful to be thinking of God and His word in new ways. My neighborhood is busy and my neighbors have been soaking in the last of the warm weather so we've been able to sit outside with them a bit more than we expected. Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching and we will hopefully get to spend some really awesome time with them. My team is doing well and have been really good for me through my inner and outer struggles. We've been good for each other.

Please keep me in your prayers. Specifically for my school and how my heart handles each individual student. Also pray for my team and that we grow closer together and deeper into the bonds of community. Their names are Anna, Ellen, Josh, Matt, and Megan and I'm sure it would be a comfort to them as it is to me to be prayed for by name. I could use some prayer too regarding trusting God in each situation. I often do not trust myself to handle difficult situations well and I think that comes from putting too much faith in my own abilities and not enough in God. And lastly, to stay present; that God helps me keep my mind and heart present here, where I am sure I am meant to be.

Peace and love!