Words for those who work with people.

I go back to Africa tomorrow! I should have written sooner. I’m suppose to be packing now and instead I’m blogging—opps.

I was also suppose to be blogging every week for the last month though, another oops.

A few explanations. One—it was the holidays. It’s tough to focus through the blasting Christmas music and food comas.

Two- Post holidays, it was actually a pretty hard month. I wasn’t going to blog about the difficult parts but I don’t do well with glazing over my emotions. In her books, Dr. Brene Brown (one of my favorites) writes about being raw and how we weren’t meant to compartmentalize vulnerability. Being real about one thing and masking another, it doesn’t fully work and we end up with an unauthentic, watered down version of who we wish to be. (the general gist)

So, I won’t go into details to what happened, but in the end, in a moment where adjusting to my American life was feeling difficult, (sometimes it’s a larger culture shift than I anticipated) I was blindsided with an unfortunate betrayal. Or backstabbing, I guess. Am I aloud to say that?

Again- no details, but within the last couple of years I feel like I’ve been surprised with these issues a few times. And with my heart strewn across the floor, I got the privilege again, of picking up the raw pieces but couldn’t seem to organize them for a blog.

My turning point came the other night. I had one of the most healing moments of the last month just sitting down to dinner with a dear friend and aid-working veteran, sharing war stories. Not literal war stories, (which is also a common occurrence in my life) but talking about life’s imperfections and unexpected pains.

When I first got married (like… yesterday. Haha.) I kept asking married couples “What’s hard about your marriage? What are your differences? Your ups, your downs?” Because suddenly I was married and faced with “Oh my gosh, marriage is better than I ever dreamed BUT, as two strong individuals- we have a lot to learn!”

This felt similar. Sometimes when we’re navigating unfamiliar waters, or in this last month’s case- hurt and well… irritation, sometimes we’re just desperate to hear someone else say “It’s normal. It’s happened to me. You’ll be ok”

So for a quick second, if you don’t have that kind of dinner date scheduled, —for anyone who has felt knocked down, if you’ve tried and felt like you’ve failed, if you’ve been betrayed, backstabbed, lost everything, been robbed, bankrupt, or fallen down and are afraid you can’t get back up….

It’s going to be ok. You’re going to be alright.

And not only that, you won’t just come out alive, you’re going to be better than you would’ve been before, as the wisdom and humility you’ll gain is worth much more than the pride you would have kept without these lessons!

It was interesting hearing my friend talk about moments in her life that knocked her down. And I mean like, beat her til she was unconscious (not literally) and my first response was an instinctive- YOU ARE SO BRAVE. The courage it took for her to get back up was more impressive than had everything gone smoothly from the beginning. And with the experience she gained in navigating her heart, the things she learned from seeing what works and what doesn’t and preparing for the next round, she’s now developing a foundation that is more solid and life changing than she could have had before.

People are messy. And everywhere in life there are people. You can’t control whether the young prostitute returns to sell her body, even if you did risk everything to rescue her. You can’t control the young soldier who returns to fight in war, you can’t control the homeless man who just took your dollar and used it to buy alcohol and you can’t control those around you into making honoring decisions. But you can control your heart. Your response, and how you rise again, to risk it all and say yes to love.

“Failure” is such an inappropriate label. Stamped on our hearts so often when things don’t work out like we planned.

If you risk great, you could fall great, but that is not failure.

This month actually wasn’t that terrible. Papa God has been such a boss in his response. It just made me ask a lot of questions, and in disappointment choose how I was going to respond to betrayal now and the lingering taste from it before.

A semi-strange blog right before going back to Africa, but before I reach my excited “Everything is wonderful and I’m so excited to be back in the Congo!” I wanted to give you a taste of both sides to a complicated story.

This is getting long so I’ll stop rambling, but I hope that in whatever capacity you lead and live, that you never stop loving greatly, believing whole heartedly and dreaming unreasonably.