I woke up yesterday morning, and it was so strange not being in New Orleans. While I enjoyed the peace and quiet and the sleeping in and my own bed, I missed NOLA and my teammates so much.
I took a long drive in the country, just listening to music and thinking. It was a beautiful day outside, and the long drive was really nice.
Then I got ready for Frontline Silver Spring, helped with greeting by going to the metro stop and handing out promo cards, found everyone and sat with them, and then we all had dinner together afterwards.
The day started off very nicely, but as I came home tonight, my heart was heavy and hurting.
My brother also came home last night. When I got home he had already gone to a friends house. but when he came back, I didnt really welcome him the way i had wished. I just wanted to be by myself and for him to go away, and i said a small hi, but afterwards i felt so awful about not being friendlier and frustrated because I really wanted to be enthusiastic about his arrival home, and i felt like I was rude and unfriendly. I just started crying sitting on my bed. I dont know where all these tears are from.
This is a really difficult post for me to write, because it digs deep into my heart. But nonetheless, I feel the need to share.
I dont know why I am scared to share, or what is holding me back, but I do know that I have nothing to be afraid of, because I know that the people who will read this do love me.
I think one of the hardest things for me is to receive love from people, and to tell people that I love them. I dont know why that is. Sometimes my heart is very open, sometimes it is very closed.
Last year -the first year after graduating from high school - God grew me and taught me in a lot of ways. I also remember that year as being a lonely year. Having everyone leave for college left me kinda alone, and I didnt have the Christian Fellowship that I needed. It was a hard year, as I often felt lonely, depressed, sad, unable to talk to people, rejected, just very alone. I feel like my whole life it has been hard for me to connect with and talk to people, I have been much more introverted than extroverted. Sometimes I think that I am just kind of in my own thoughts. Either way, the Lord has really been pulling me out my shell and growing me. I have found such security, confidence and acceptance in the Lord that most of the fears that once ruled my life have been overcome by the love and power of Christ. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness.
Anyway, it has still been a struggle this past year. God has brought me to The Gathering, which has been a huge blessing. I've met so many great people through my small group, going to Intencity trips both semester, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement (a class I have been involved in), and now through New Orleans. I feel that the fellowship on this trip was in its purest form, because we were all put together for 7 days, doing the same things, interacting with the same people, hearing the same stories. I am so blessed to have met everyone and these people are my new friends.
But I dont know what is going on with me. There is something that still hurts inside of me. I still feel alone. I think one reason is that I have to go back to my life now. I feel overwhelmed and need a day or two to debrief - blog, upload pics, write my follow-up letter, spend time in prayer, and just think.
I think I am also scared because even though everyone on my team has been saying that we will get together and hang out, and I do believe we will, I still feel like I'm losing these people. I dont know why I feel that way. Sometimes it is so hard to understand what I'm feeling and I hate it. Last night I just wanted to crawl into my bed and not deal with anything. I called in sick to work today, cuz I just needed this time.
I want to be able to shine for Christ, to go out into the world each day tackling all this with joy because I have complete peace and victory in Christ.
It is so hard to find this fellowship and then have to say goodbye to it. I know I will see everyone again. I know we will hang out. But still, I have fears and sadness that wont go away.
Having been in a dark and lonely place and then seen the opposite, my understanding of close Christian friends being of vital importance is valid and legit.
I just need to tackle each day with prayer (James 5:16) and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6) and remember that God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power of love and of self-discipline (2 timothy 1:7).