Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Some days the heart is heavy.

Some times, the weight of the world comes and rests on your chest, and no matter how many times you push, it won't leave. It's there, crushing, breaking, smothering the energy, the rest, the joy.

Some days, I am weary.

Too little sleep and too much burden. Not a recipe for success.

My friend gave me a birthday card last week with the words from Psalms 23... "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil".

I don't know if my friend realizes she is a prophet.

That's what it feels like the past few days... this awareness that I am walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Not literal death, but just a reality that the world I live in is broken and quite frankly, it sucks.

The little boys I can't rescue...

The little girl who doesn't want help...

The other little girl whose wounded little body will not leave my mind...

And I am powerless... because of laws, red tape, and people who have no idea what they are doing, the harm they can cause.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus... my heart whispers it.

And I let the rest of His words wash over me, dictating to myself what I don't feel yet, but I know I will one day...

"Your rod and staff comfort me... surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever".

I have to believe this. I have to cling to this.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Love Well

Some days the urge is there to just write. About what? I am not sure, but there is a craving deep inside to take what is burning in my heart and validate it through written words. It's how I process, I grieve... not with tears, but words. And maybe it will make sense.

This is what I get for reading blogs. Sheesh.

I miss them... the three faces that resemble my own. Different eye color, all taller than I, but connected by heart, as cheesy as that sounds. Sometimes, you just want to laugh and hold, and look in the eye instead of a computer screen. They make the deepest sacrifice of all, losing a big sister who can't devote heart and soul like she used to. But did I ever really? Because, I can look back at 100 different scenarios when I could have done better, loved well.

And that has been the theme of my heart... To learn to love well.

Not just love, not just give a little. To give everything, and sometimes hold back when the object isn't ready for everything.

To love well sometimes means holding back when the nurturer in me wants to smother the pain away.

To love well means letting go, trusting that He knows to love even better than I.

To love well means to embrace and never let go... of hope, grace, compassion, forgiveness.

To love well means I see with different eyes... that even though my country may scream for blood, I must scream for peace.

And I walk around on Sunday, the place I feel alive. I scrape my foot on a rock, noting a thought to cover it in alcohol when I get home.

It's been raining, which means muddier than usual, dirtier than usual, more leaping over puddles that hold who-knows-what.

But those faces... every effort is worth those little faces. New little friends who learn to trust.

There is so much pain still. Sometimes the outward pain mirrors the brokenness I can see in myself.

And I look for her, the little one I pray every night before that I get to see, the one I prayed harder for Saturday night for some reason.

I see her... the last part of our walk through with the little sister always attached. And I hold her close, and really, we don't let go until the last minute as I walk to the Kia. I don't know why we bonded, or why she lets me hold her.

But I wanted to run with her. Scoop the little one, her sister into my arms and run as fast as we could to somewhere else, somewhere away from here.

But I can't... because right now, loving well means loving the best I can from this point.

So I wait, and I watch.

And there's the man of skin and bones, dying in the corner.

And there's the little boy with a leg filling with infection.

And I look in my arms at the little sister who finally let me hold her.

How do you love well when you walk through hell?

How do you love well when life is easy?

How do you love well when you are so incapable to give anything?

I don't know.

I just, don't know. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Present Ache

Sometimes I can stay busy... most of the time I stay busy and never have to think about it. I can go days at a time, but it always catches up, that familiar feeling. The ache, as I refer to it.

I am used to this ache. For the past three years, between living in a new city for school and leaving my heart in a country an ocean away, this ache has been pretty familiar.

It's like living with a hole in your heart. Some days, it is a small hole and can be ignored, or it only hurts a little. The pain is bearable, like a mosquito bite.

Other days, the hole is big. It's all you can think of, and it hurts.

In the past, it came on birthdays, days when little ones were hurting and I could do nothing from where I stood, days when life got so monotonous and I couldn't feel alive anymore, days when they were walking and talking and I was missing it.

Now, it still comes on birthdays. Days when the family vacations, the weddings, the ball games, the Sunday lunches, the daily life comes and it's one more picture you were absent for.

It comes on days like today, when life is hard, the work is overwhelming, and I just want to sit at the kitchen table with familiar food and the people who know me. I want to bury myself under a comforter on the familiar couch I fight over with my favorite three people.

I have been accused of being flippant... of not taking others seriously when they say they miss me or want me home. And I know I come across that way. I don't mean to do it.

But that's what I have to do to hold it together.

Because, how do I explain? How do I convey what it means to constantly live with your heart divided? To call two places, and possibly one day a third or fourth home?

Because, home isn't a house anymore. It's people, and I am a part of two different families, and for the rest of my life, I always will be.

I try not to think about it, but I know that soon, I will step foot on the place that is so familiar, but it's not my normal anymore.

I don't feel American anymore, and I am not sure what to do or how to respond to the questions. The thought fills me with a little anxiety. How do you go from a home of 100 you haven't left for more than 2 days for the past 9 months, to a home of at the most, 5?

Will I be glad to be in America? Yes, but only because of the people.

When will I be coming back again? I honestly don't know. I just want to cherish this... these 30 days I am given to rest, to love and be present.

My life has become one of inevitable good byes. I say good bye to those in America, I say good bye to my little ones here, and I live with the knowledge that being with one part of my heart will mean separation from the other.

This is what He called me to, and I said yes.

Is it worth the pain? Absolutely. This is my life, and I love it. He is worth it.

But please remember that when I said yes, and I said yes knowing there would be cost.

So if you ask me a question, and my "This is what He said to do" sounds flippant, dismissive, please remember there is a heart behind those words trying to hold it together.

Because sometimes the pain is intense and I feel like I might fall apart, and those responses are all that will hold me together.

I don't like to think about it... this separation, knowing that the choices I make mean pain for someone else. I want my family to know my family. I want to be present in both. And I can't. And one day, I will have to leave this country and move on to a new country with another family.

He will call, I will say yes, and the pain will still be there, probably even stronger.

I wish there was a way to keep them together, everyone I love within a 2 mile radius.

But I can't.

So on days like today, when I wake up, work, study, and go through my daily routine, when my heart aches for physical presence, I give it to Him.

I have to. And He comforts, knowing what it is like to be separated from who He loves because of their own choices.

And He is present.

And we ache together.