"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Monday, May 31, 2010


I am struck as I read, that looking back I don’t really think we were writing very negatively. Sure, we shared struggles, and we presented some of our lessons on culture shock and burnout, but I guess I was expecting more. There were less than a handful of people who thought we were just being soooo negative, all the time. Reading it, I don’t even get the “feelings” for where we were-like that feeling of desperation, the struggle that was all-consuming at the time we were writing it. I guess it is just perspective of the reader? It was/is the atmosphere we were in at the time? Is it personality? These 2 or 3 people are just peachy pie type of people. They would never be public about any personal struggles, so they felt we were making people thinking badly of us. But then the rest of the responses we got thanked us for being willing to be HONEST about our struggles. HMM. I guess we were only out to represent ourselves and what God was teaching and stretching us through. And we chose to do it in the way we felt God wanted us to, so oh well to what they think?! What would they have said to Paul when he spoke of his own sufferings? “Paul, Paul, Paul! You need to edit all these letters! We’ve already got a call out to Matthew, Mark, Luke & John about taking that stuff Jesus said about suffering and bearing a cross OUT. We want people to follow Jesus! We don’t want them to think it’s gonna be hard, or cost them anything…we have to only tell them how great everything always is. They can just deal with that other stuff themselves, by themselves. We only need to tell them the good half of the truth!”

Someone told me they were reading it around that Jan/Feb time (in 09) and just got soooo depressed. The only thing we were writing about was what we had learned at MTI about transition, burnout, and culture shock; it was basically our course notes, just the facts they presented to us. Of course we said we ourselves were struggling with it. Hmm. Why is that depressing? Because it is real? Our pastor used to call our missions guy after reading our blog and ask, “Should I be worried yet?” And he’d say, “Nope-that’s normal, nope, that’s normal.” (He was a missionary himself in Asia for a few years) What’s not-so normal I guess, is the fact that we were writing about it as we were in it. So it was raw, it was personal, and it was real. We didn’t go back three years later and read our notes and then try to convey what we were feeling. Because like I said, I don’t even get those “feelings” now reading it, so how could I really write about it. You had the not-always-so-pretty privilege of reading what real missionaries (can) go through on the field but are unable to say. For this exact reason-someone calls their feelings, their experiences, their life-too negative. Really? Who gave you the right to judge that? Again, that new Amy Grant song goes through my head-
We pour out our miseries-
God just hears a melody-
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts-
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes

We never set out for our blog to be a cheerleader for our project, because our blog was never about the project. We (tried to) only wrote what we had to that dealt with our faith struggle, give a few updates; believe me-there’s a much larger book we could write if it was suppose to be about the project. Our blog was, and is, about our personal faith journey. I guess some people could never get that through their heads, they thought it was more than it was. And they unknowingly contributed to exactly what they didn’t want to see/read.

We wrote and edited and reread every post numerous times so it was just what we felt the Lord was leading us to say. I guess we were confident in that at the time, but if everything else about our calling is now being questioned, you could question that too.

1 comment:

Debbie said...

I check your blog everyday and look forward to it. I so enjoyed the fact that you were so honest in telling it like it was. To read a sugar coated version would have disapointed me. I am going through a lot of personal problems myself and alot of it was brought on by so called "friends". I feel I can relate to some of your issues and I benefit from your words. Please keep blogging. God Bless.