my first mission trip (a confession)

it was one of the worst experiences i’ve ever had.

it’s one of those things i’ve looked back on and wondered why on earth it even happened.

i really can’t say what motivated me to do it… i had people encouraging me and supporting me, telling me it was something i should do (being a christian and all). so i did it. and everything seemed to go wrong for me…naturally. i came in last minute. getting my passport was a freakin’ nightmare. every step of the way i debated whether it was even a good idea. but everyone kept saying, “if it’s meant to be, it’ll work out! have faith!”

so, somehow i ended up on that plane, headed out of the country with a group of people i didn’t know. i was terrified. i felt like didn’t belong there. i was easily overlooked, which didn’t matter, because i really didn’t care to bring attention to myself.  the whole time there i kept asking myself, why am i here?  i was eager to serve, eager to help, eager to find some purpose…but instead, i was fearful, timid and waaay out of my comfort zone. i silently excused myself from dinner one night to go cry in the bathroom. everyone else seemed normal. they knew what they were doing there. they were personable and charismatic. but not me. i didn’t know how, and didn’t really care to be. here i was, lonely and depressed…and i kicked myself for it. how dare i be so selfish amidst all this? my focus needed to be on others, not myself. i was seeing people hopeful in the midst of their circumstances… but that didn’t lessen my pain any. i was still hurting, still healing.

i arrived home, parting ways with a group of people i still really didn’t know. and i was glad it was over.

back then,  i was an absolute emotional mess. if i wasn’t busy building or cleaning or sleeping or working, i was left to my own thoughts. the trip couldn’t mask all my issues…maybe i thought i could leave them all behind and magically become this new person because of the experience. but i didn’t. the only things it succeeded in doing was heighten my insecurities, and show me that i still had a long way to go…and i didn’t really like that.

not much has changed.

i’d like to think i’ve matured a bit, but i still drive myself crazy. i’ve got journals full of my thoughts and emotions, and i’ve reached a point where i’ve got nothing left. i’m just saying the same things over and over. i’ve gotten tired of sitting on my own and rehashing feelings, so i try and keep busy. i feel guilty if i’m just lounging around. no matter what i’m doing, i feel like i could be doing something more.

i know what He says. i know what i’ve learned.i know i can’t hide for long. i know it will all catch up with me. i have this ball of anticipation inside of me that i’m trying to squelch…

i’m tired. all i know is that i’m tired.

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