Ugly

I haven’t been writing lately and I’ve told myself it’s because I haven’t had time, which is partly true.  The bigger truth though, is that I haven’t really wanted to give voice to most of the thoughts I’ve been having.  I’ve been overwhelmed and overstressed, with negativity and exhaustion ruling my days, complaining and cursing the problems I’ve been facing.

IMG_3650As of right now, I’ve been acting as executive director of Redeemed for almost 3 months and to be honest, it’s been more difficult than I ever could have imagined.  I’m emotionally raw from the challenges that come from working with trauma survivors.  Mentally, I’m spent as my wheels continually turn over the responsibilities of leading an organization.  My physical self is so tired from days spent in meetings, in the car, constantly on call, and networking with donors and service providers.  My spirit feels empty, despite working for a faith based organization; this is probably the hardest to deal with as a missionary.

I’m praying, I’m reading the Bible, I’m going to church and participating in small groups, but it all seems hollow right now. I’m just a big fake and it sucks.

 “Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!” Habakkuk 3:17-18

I’m trying really hard to get to that second part, rejoicing despite the barrenness of my soul.  I want to have the strength of faith that allows me to praise him in all circumstances, to have the constitution of Paul, but I’m just not there yet.

I have too much anger, too much grief.

I’m sitting right now in our assessment center, or emergency shelter if you will, with our last client waiting for placement.  Lack of funding has forced us to close our doors and I’m pissed off about it.  Because of money, we’ve had to lay off a staff that gave their all in a place of constant crisis.  We’ve had to push out women who are still experiencing trauma, and put them into circumstances where they won’t be getting the kind of care they need.

I don’t know how to rejoice in this circumstance. As a believer I know that God has a plan and that beauty will come from these ashes, but right now I only feel the pain of the pruning that is taking place.  Even this post has been written over the course of several days, as I bounce through my emotions, and my writing reflects my disjointedness.

All of this rambling to say it’s hard right now.  Mission work is hard.  Ministry is hard.  Staying positive and being a good leader during times like this is really hard.  I’d appreciate your prayers.