Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Trying to be strong...
I have been home for a little over a week now. I have been changed. I am still processing all the information that I took in while in Africa. I now have an obligation to do something.
I was chosen to go. I am blessed to live here. I want to do something meaningful in my life to bring about a positive change for others. I am not just talking about helping people in Africa, I mean people who are just an arms length away. I pray that I can empower others to "live and love beyond themselves" and move through life with their eyes wide open.
How much do you miss each day? In this huge world do you know that so many people are lonely, sad and confused? How often do you think of someone but do not take a moment to let them know? Do you pass up opportunities to show love to others?
I know that I am guilty of this. I want to reach out with a call, a text or an email. I quickly dismiss it thinking - "Nah, they are probably busy and I don't want to bother them or make them feel obligated to respond..." so I do nothing.
I have a big family, yet there are many times I feel sad and alone. I feel misunderstood, unheard, unimportant in the lives that share the same living space as me. My only option is to turn to God and ask for Him to take away the feelings of despair.
No, there is no quick fix to any of life's challenges. I now know as I have seen first hand that my burdens are lighter than some.
Here I sit in the midst of them at times not knowing what direction to take. I know that I should stop and ask directions. I pray and then I wait. I am human. I am just like most people, I want a quick answer. No one likes the discomfort of not knowing, of feeling lost. Desperate.
I feel confused by having so many options yet no clear answers.
What do I do? Where do I turn? How do I go on?
At times I feel so small. I feel defeat. Can I quit? I sure can. I want to. But I don't.
I have to keep on...keeping on. Searching, looking, seeking - for the right path. I will make mistakes, I always do. I have to learn from them.
It is my prayer that others may see my journey and learn from me. I want to be a light. I have lived in darkness and have searched for the lighted path. At times I find it quickly, other times my search is long.
Right now, I am in pain for my child, just as God feels pain for us. I want to make my son okay. I want to "heal" his mental illness. I want to take him in my arms and make it all better. I can not. I can only pray for him as he is in custody paying a price for a choice he made while brokenhearted.
He is not a bad person. I use to think that only bad people who did bad things went to jail. I now know that this is not the case. My son is ill. He is mentally challenged and an addict as a result. He does not make good choices. He lacks the ability to think and reason rationally. He reacts and acts on impulse. We are all just one bad choice away from an unpleasant consequence.
It is so easy to sit in judgement of others. It is easy to tell others what they should have done or should do. Having forgiveness and compassion is not easy. I have lost friends because of my son's actions. But I ask - "were they real friends to begin with?" The answer is clear.
I do not have to carry the weight of who he has become. God loves him as I do, unconditionally. I need true friends in my life who will stand by me no matter what. We all do. How judgemental are you? Do you offer your friendship without limits? We often neglect our friends and loved ones by "starving" them of positive reinforcement. Why is it so easy to criticize so quickly? What makes us the expert?
I challenge you to go out of your comfort zone and do something to bring about positive change for someone else. I ask that you count your blessings. Be humble. You are free to live, free to love and free to give - FREELY to others. A kind word, a kind gesture - they go a long way. You never know what kind of impact you will have on someone else by just a simple call, email or visit.
Go and do great things. Don't live in fear. Take a moment and pray. Ask God for direction. Be open to receive.