I now know why some missionaries come back and start blasting the states. You know...the ones on the street corners preaching the anti-Western gospel! No, I don't hate America. But I wish you could have felt what I felt when I was on the plane ride back home. It was like I felt the arrogance of everyone on board. And when you're on those long flights, they let you watch movies right? I saw some of the stuff people were watching and it just made me so mad. Laughing at curse words, sex scenes, drug scenes. Just arrogantly living the American lifestyle like God doesn't exist. I knew it was gonna be a rough transition for me.
Though I had a rough time on the flight, one of the things that made it a little easier is the fact that God gave me this heart-wrenching revelation. Here it is: God can do what He wants. He can use anyone He wants to use. People don't measure up to my standards...like I don't measure up to God's standards. And if God can show grace and use me then I should show grace to others. Even to people who don't know God. I don't know how God can show mercy and grace to enemies? It's still something that is beyond me. But that's not all. Here's the clincher: God has designed the church in a way that you and I HAVE to depend on each other. There's no other way. Flaws and all, we are family. I wish that I could say that I totally understand this revelation but I don't. I know me. And my normal M.O. (Mode of Operation) is to be unforgiving. If a person let's me down once, I'm suspicious. Twice? I'm distant. More than that? I'll say "hi" but we may never be close friends again. But God is teaching me how to love like him. Here's how I know...
When I came back home, I came back to a lot of craziness. It was actually stuff that started before I left but when I got back things had gotten worse. I knew this would happen. I knew the enemy would try to put out my fire before I got on the ground good. And so it began. From June 24th until now, people who I've trusted in have begun to fail. I guess it just hurt more because they were so close to my heart. While everything is going down, I've noticed something different about myself. Yes, I'm sad. But I'm noticeably less affected. It's to the point where I'm asking myself, "Am I just jaded now? Have I let hurt build up so much that I don't care about people anymore?" But I don't think that's the case. I think God is really teaching me how to love and forgive. Even when people don't ask for forgiveness, I have to forgive them. I have to let stuff go. (And blogging and writing songs does help with my therapy lol!) I'm learning to accept that pain is a part of life. Spiritual agony, emotional pain, and physical pain is all a part of the human experience. Of course I don't seek out pain just for the fun of it. But when it finds me I have to accept that it's happening and believe that the Healer will heal me in His time.
So to sum everything up, I'm back in the States and I've had a pretty difficult time adjusting. Our mission trip leaders warned us of it happening but I didn't know it would be this hard. But I think that (for me at least) it's supposed to be this hard for a reason. I think I'm on the verge of something great. Something new. Being on that mission trip has changed me as a person and as an artist. It's helped shape my outlook on ministry. I'm grateful to God for the opportunity. Now, time for the Growing Pains.