I'm going to do my best with this post to be as honest and real as possible, while still being discreet and responsible. Please just read my heart and understand my head with the rest... (I don't even know if I'll post this.)
Certain areas of my life have felt like they were slipping over the last 7 months. Not my faith in God, or any relationship areas, but in very specific, external situations. I've let out plenty of desperate cries to our Creator for help and healing. He's providing the physical healing right now, which has helped with the other stuff, but that... "stuff...?" Well, it's still there.
Last week I was blessed beyond any blessing I could ever imagine having received. I was able to go to Creation (a 4-day Christian music festival in Enumclaw, WA) and be a part of the sign language interpreting team there. To set things up for this post, you need to know that my JOB is working with interpreters. The "stuff" in my life at the moment has to do with this exact topic, and these people and the people we all serve together. So... well, I was unsure about what to expect when I walked into camp on Tuesday. I've been hurt, and was still hurting... I felt like that area of my life was a crumpled mess, at least in part.
I knew two of the interpreters (of 20) on our team already, and had made acquaintance (in real life or FB) with two more. I was excited, so very excited, and so very nervous.
I got to camp and the only person there was the husband of one of the interpreters. We talked for a minute, and then a few more campers (interpreters and family members) came up. One offered to help me with my tent and I, in my crazy need for independence, said he could help if he wanted to... finally acknowledging how difficult it is for me to ask for assistance. He helped me anyway, and we laughed through it. More and more interpreters and their families started trickling in and I was greeted with love and laughter, smiles and hugs, and assured that, from the first minute I met someone, I could be... ME.
The week passed like a blur. Crazy laughter, teasing, prayer, tears, support, encouragement, believers all gathered together to worship our Creator God. Every day I felt a little part of my soul and my heart being healed and softened, knit back together. I was able to minister into others' lives, and to openly allow them to minister to mine--even when they had NO idea what they were doing. When they thought I was doing something for them, my heart screamed out thankfulness for the healing that they were providing me. It seems silly almost. I never expressed to most of them how wounded I felt when I got there... partly because I'm not sure I knew it, and partly because I simply was not allowed to by those who have caused the burden on my soul. The laughter and the silliness and the praising of God and singing and crying and... and everything... they were what I needed.
See, when I came home, exhausted and ready to sleep for twice as long as my available 13 hours (!), I was so thankful. I felt what life COULD be. What it SHOULD be. Where it is that God has called me. No, I'm not called to be an interpreter at Creation for 52 weeks of the year. I AM called, however, to serve people. To LOVE people. To EXHORT people. To TEACH people. And to have some fun doing it.
I dragged myself to work on Monday morning. 7am came far, far too early, even after 13 hours of sleep. When I got there, I recounted some of the funny stories, the ways I'd been touched, the amazing music and speakers. I settled in to play catch up with emails and voice mails, but always with the faint smile of serving God so close on my face. At the close of my second hour, however, my happy reprise was shattered. The "real world" came crashing down on me with a roar I was sure was heard in the heavenlies. I tried to grasp what God had reminded me of in Psalm 27, that He is my way out of these situations. My heart ached for what I had just experienced. All I could do was repeat, "Don't cry, don't cry, don't cry" to myself, over and over and over.
I tried to run.
I tried to hide.
I tried to go cower in my cubicle where no one could hear me and compose myself.
I was caught in a collision of what could be and what is, and I felt like I'd been slammed to the ground with the present situation. Despair loomed in front of me, taunting me.
My boss asked me a question.
I raised my hands to answer and instead of words a deep, mournful sob arose.
I. Was. Broken.
The collision between these two worlds, the imperfect utopia of serving Jesus there and the perfect chaos of serving Him here collapsed down upon me and I had nowhere to go.
I live in grief because I cannot have that imperfect utopia yet. It's there, it's waiting, but it's not mine to have... yet. I live in hope because I know Jesus wants to shine in my perfect chaos. He still has things to do here, things to do through me. And I must let Him. I have to remember that the collision exists simply to show HIS light, not mine.
If that is truth, if I can believe that, then I am willing to be broken again and again, until He accomplishes His purpose.
Please let it be soon.