I am weary. There, I said it. It’s true.
What I’m not is undetermined. No. I remain determined to press on in the work God has called me to; created me for. I know he has prescribed this missionary season I am in. I know that he placed Kenya in my life’s path. He knew that while he sent me there to minister to the women, He would break my heart for the desperately hurting children in that country. He knew that I would carry a heart burden to help them and the many people I have come to love in Kenya. And oh, I do.
When I stop and think about it, my weariness seems to make sense. I’ve been in missionary mode for a year and a half. I have spent a significant amount of time planning and preparing for the work that would be done there. In this year and a half, I’ve traveled to Kenya three times; nearly 60,000 air miles. I liken this season to being shot out of a cannon and still being in mid-air, not knowing when I will land. Gone is any sense of life-normalcy. Topsy-turvy is my new norm.
I am away for a day before I host an all-day meeting with my ministry team. For a brief time, there are very few of my usual distractions. I am quiet. Alone. Contemplative. Which leads me to, well, me. Tuned into me now, I realize a few things I need to acknowledge.
One is that in my state of weariness, which I cannot seem to shake, I’ve been regularly holding my breath. Literally. I catch myself not fully breathing in and out.
I also realize that living in the states in between missionary trips is a good thing and a bad thing. It is good for obvious reasons; being close to my family and friends and the ease of daily comforts like running water and a climate I can control with a switch. But it is a bad thing too. It is harder now than ever to see how much we take for granted here, the ridiculous impatience and sense of entitlement that is becoming more and more of our norm.
I realize that I don’t fully fit in anywhere anymore. If I am here in the states, I am thinking of Kenya and missing my boys and my work there so much. If I am in Kenya, I am longing for home, my son and friends and yes, a hot shower. In either place, I am now incomplete.
I acknowledge that not relying on myself for the means to support and take care of my needs is really hard! It is hard to walk away from a great salary, benefits and paid vacations. It is hard to go from a paycheck coming in like clockwork every two weeks to wondering how I will get by the next month. It is hard to now have to scrutinize every little purchase I make and severely lower my sense of reasonableness when it comes to things as simple as shampoo.
Finally, it is hard to feel like no one can really know or understand me and my life now; for me to not feel more alone than ever. And it is hard to not berate myself for even spending any time on such pitiful self-focus.
So this weariness lingers and I cannot seem to escape it. Which leads me to seek Him. And just as He has done so many times, He leads me to just the right reminder in scripture:
You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. Psalm 139:1-4 …all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16
I am known. The Holy One who created me, who gave me this life, this heart and my determination to advocate for others. He knows me.
And there it is; the realization. My weariness comes from being earthly minded. While earthly mindedness is needed so that I see the work He has called me to do, I need to be heavenly focused. Focused more intently on Him. His Word. His voice. His plan. His love. To remember that this earthly life is oh-so-temporary. It’s the next life in Heaven that holds all of the best promises; the freedom from all of the things that burden me here.
The line between earthly mindedness and heavenly focused is very fine; a subtle shift it all it takes to derail me.
So now, moment by moment…I’m looking up…and breathing out.