July 24, 2012

re-adjusting . . . more

My first day back to work was really difficult.

I was on the verge of tears before entering my unit, simply at the fact that the hospital was just so clean.

One of my friends, Julie, was there and she asked me how my trip was - I immediately got choked up, almost lost it in the breakroom (all before the beginning of the shift) and told her that it had been really hard to process everything.

We were so busy during that week, that we didn't have time to process. And there was so much that we were taking in. Human trafficking, sexual slavery, child abuse, prostitution, poverty - those are not things that you can take lightly.

I think the first week back, I was just trying to get my bearings and was beginning to process things.

Another one of my co-workers was there, praise God, who has been on missions to third world countries as well. She and Julie were so great to talk to - I don't know what I would have done without them that day.

My co-worker reminded me of many, many things that I needed to hear . . .

- That God is alive and working in third world countries
- We don't go on missions to change the world, we go to come alongside what God is already doing in other parts of the world
- We, as a culture, walk around as if we do not need God
- Suffering enables people to have a much deeper relationship with and dependence on God
- We do live in a very broken, fallen, cursed world
- The "health and wealth" gospel is absolutely false and not Biblical by any means

She also recommended this book, which is great so far . . .

I still find myself overwhelmed at how much we have here . . . the excess, the luxuries, the freedoms, protection, opportunities, blessings, comforts . . . how clean everything is (don't think I'm getting over that anytime soon), and how much we truly don't need anything but God.

Sometimes the darkness feels so overwhelming. In Nicaragua, the darkness was pretty obvious . . . but in America, it's more subtle - which can be scarier in a sense.

As soon as we were back in the country, I felt bombarded by media, materialism, consumerism, distractions, technology and self-centeredness of our culture.

There are false gods everywhere, competing for our affection, our time, our lives, our passion, our worship. 

Just look at any form of media or especially social media.

We live in a culture that is largely unaware of it's need for God, and is hotly pursuing the wrong things. Distraction pulls me in a thousand different directions every day . . . and society tells me that I need things like a hot body, perfect relationship, approval of others, success in my career, perfect family, booming bank account, etc. in order to be fulfilled and happy.

The darkness over here just takes a different form than the darkness in third world countries. But there is clearly hope - God is insanely faithful, He is sovereign and His love is deeper and greater than anything my mind can grasp.

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