Archive | January 2020

missionary trauma

So, I don’t know if it’s missionary trauma, or pastor’s wife trauma, or just being alive in a sinful world trauma ….

It just kind of builds up, the shocking things one has to hear, witness, face. I think I handle all this pretty well; I don’t struggle with depression or sink into despair or bitterness or hopelessness. I have struggled with forgiveness, with not withdrawing emotionally.

God once convicted me of cynicism towards our rehab center, and He helped me turn from cynicism to having His hope for souls.

But it does build up.

So something cultural/personal was shocking me a few days back, and I was examining this with Vitaliy, and in a follow-up conversation, I said maybe I’d like to talk to a counselor and just make sure I’m not becoming deformed by shocking things.

And in the conversation, I was thinking about how Jesus had seen many shocking things. And how did He deal with it?

And I thought: When Jesus was being beaten, tortured, and crucified, He wasn’t feeling shock at people’s sinfulness. He just didn’t feel that. He was ready to offer forgiveness, do God’s will, and see the glory of God in what was really happening.

That insight has given me a great new level of insight and freedom. Jesus didn’t feel shock at people’s sinfulness. I personally tend to get a little bowled over by this. And I start circling back around to this topic–feelings of being shocked. And that’s what starts layering up on me–my own reaction.

But this is showing me that I can just skip the feelings of shock. They don’t serve me. I can look at that person’s life, no matter what they have just brought out of their hearts, and see that God is working in them–that they have not done worse things already, that they are God’s children and have, as such, made many good decisions, too, etc. That is seeing His glory instead of their sin.

Answered prayer in 2019

God is bringing to a close my midlife “crisis.” (I just turned 44, by the way, so, great timing!) I would describe this experience as: Parting with all the possible lives I could have lived, and discovering in a new way the joy and greatness of the life God has planned for me.

Early in 2019, I wrote this commitment/prayer in my prayer notebook:

This year, I want to receive from God joy and contentment . I will refuse to entertain “what if,” “could have,” “might have.”. . . I will live with thoughts of thankfulness for each aspect of my life and God’s leading, will, and blessing.

There were days and days I would repeat this prayer and commitment.

And then, I stopped even noticing it. I started enjoying my life in a new way, a way free from comparisons of what my life could have been.

And now I look back at it, and it is an answered prayer. A lived commitment.

And I need to move on into living this life with even greater acceptance and openness to what actually He IS DOING in this life He’s made me for.