- Missed laundry slots
- Sick of a tiny bed and an 8 week menu
- Can’t sleep
- Move nights
- New songs
- Ice cream
- Good conversation with good people at any hour of the day or night
- New friends
- Don’t want to leave
- Ready to go home
- Being supported by community
- Being trapped by community
I don’t know where to begin to process these emotions. All of these things can be felt and experienced at any time on any given day. In less than five weeks I will be back in the US with a completely blank future staring me in the face. I truly am in love with this ship and this community but I know I cannot stay. I know God is telling me to leave. I know it is time to “go home” but where is home? What is home?
I have spent the last three years calling this pressure cooker of an environment home. Here we experience emotions to the max and sheer proximity accelerates how often and why we interact with one another. All that is to say, especially now as I am trying to exit gracefully which I’m beginning to think is impossible, that a good day can turn into a bad day with one brief encounter or vice versa. Patience is running low, emotions are high and we are all messy, complicated human beings (or in the words of Van Halen – humans being. Shine on).
However, I have started to look at my days in terms of light and dark instead of good and bad.
A dark day is one lived apart from the light of truth.
A light day is one lived in truth in the midst of hardship and struggles.
There can be good things in the midst of darkness just like there sometimes has to be bad circumstances in the light. But more importantly, light is the cure for darkness. Light shining, truth exposed and gloried in, this is the antidote for the darkness in my life.
Looking back on life, there were plenty of instances when I had a smile on my face, was enjoying life but was secretly enveloped by darkness on the inside. Now, as I’m nearing the end of what has become “normal life” and am preparing to leave a home which I dearly love, I am being run over with more feelings than I have ever experienced and am desperately trying to stay above the emotionally stable surface. I’m not going to lie, there have been a lot of dark days recently, but I have to stop and ask myself, why am I not living in the light of truth?
What is making my dark day dark?
Is it people? Circumstances? My perception? All of the above? Whatever it is, why am I letting these things shadow my life in darkness when I can run to the source of light?
God never promised this life would be easy. In fact, more often than not in scripture the opposite is true, but Jesus commands the weary and heavy-laden to go to him for rest. I am to find shelter in him. I am to cast my anxiety on him. I am to trust him. I am not to be afraid or terrified. He is my friend. He is my Father. He will comfort me. He will protect me. He will provide for me. He will trudge with me through the mess of this life, shining light into the darkest corners of my soul…if I let him.
I am not saying that the goodbyes and the grief and the confusing bits of this transition should not be felt and experienced or that any of it is easy. I am saying that the difference between my light days and my dark days should be how much I’m living in Christ and not the good or bad events surrounding me. We will all have bad days, that is the reality of this life, but bad days do not have to be defined by darkness.
I guess the hard part now is actually living in that truth.
You give life, You are love
You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken
Great are You, Lord
Great Are You Lord – All Sons & Daughters
(Matthew 11:28-30; Psalm 91; Philippians 4:6-7; Joshua 1:9; John 15:15; 2 Corinthians 1:3-5; Philippians 4:19; Hebrews 10:23)