can i just be brutally, completely, in-your-face honest with you for a minute? this whole being a missionary thing is no joke. it is hard, you guys. really hard. and there are some days where i would rather be anywhere but here, doing anything but this. some days, i feel so totally, completely done. depleted. empty.
i’m having one of those days. only this day has gone on for the past three weeks. i’ve been struggling–a lot. i’m tired, more than tired, really. i’m lonely. i’m homesick. i’m over the heat, the sweating, the sleepless nights, the fatigue that follows me day in and day out. i don’t feel like myself. i worry i have nothing more in me to give. i know that i only have a few months left and yet, somehow, those few months seems like they’re years away.
i don’t tell you this to play some sort of sympathy card; i’m not looking for pats on the back or pity of any kind. i’m sharing this because i want to show the world that all of us, every single one of us, even (and perhaps especially) those of us in ministry–we have a bad day once in a while. or a bad week. maybe even a bad year. whatever; it happens. it doesn’t mean we are weak. it doesn’t mean we’re failures. it doesn’t mean we’re not spiritual enough, not depending on God enough, or that we don’t have enough faith. it means we’re human. it means we have hearts and souls, and they’re messy and sometimes maybe we come undone.
and it is there that i find myself, in that undone place, where i don’t have the answers and i don’t know how to get out of this and it hurts, but i keep hearing the whisper telling me to just hang in, hang on. and i try, and i fail, and i collapse in a puddle of tears and disappointment and somehow, i get back up again. i’m in that place where words fail me, where my language has become the deep groanings of the heart, and yet i know that even those are some sacred prayer, a holy utterance.
i have come undone, and instead of hiding away all the broken pieces, i’m letting you see them.
i have come undone, and instead of attempting to explain it all away, i’m sitting down in the aftermath.
i have come undone, and i’m talking about it.
because perhaps you too know this feeling, know it well, and you wonder if anyone else in the world understands. perhaps no one has ever given you the permission to have a bad day. perhaps you’re stopping yourself from falling apart because you’re afraid that you’ll be too broken to ever be put back together.
i get it. i really do. but may i suggest that, though it may feel like it, you will not be undone forever? i know right now you may not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel and, to be honest, neither can i. but our limited vision doesn’t change the Light’s existence; that i can promise you.
be gentle with yourself, and remember: you are human. you are beautifully flawed, and that is the mystery of your heart and soul and flesh and bones. if you’re having a bad day, it’s okay. if you’re falling apart or breaking down, it’s okay. i promise you; it really is.
you, dear one, will not be undone forever. and neither will i.
because if there’s one thing i’ve learned about Jesus, it’s that he loves to stitch things back together.