Growing up, there was a wall hanging right above the television closet that said “look outside and be distressed, look inside and be depressed, look to Jesus and be at rest”.
This has been a difficult week for me. I have felt emotional, unmotivated, off-center and far from God. At one point I felt as if I had enough tears in me to cry up a storm; enough internal pressure to blow up a house. What can I say, I am an emotional being, one moment on a high and the next scraping the bottom of the barrel.
I wanted to call someone back home and talk but I am quite removed, far away from all the realities and action of their lives…too far to share my issues without sounding petty and ungrateful. I guess it’s hard to say petty things when on a 30ksh (40cents) a minute international phone-call.
Instead I watched a lot of television, and then spent a lot of time chatting with friends and not much in quiet communication with my creator. Before long I was comparing other people’s lives with my own, seeing all their successes and none of their challenges. I admired their strengths, was amazed by their good fortune and blinded by their success. Lined up against theirs, my life seemed measly, lonely and unaccomplished. And the more I compared myself to them the worse I felt.
When I first got here I felt an overwhelming need to be somebody different. Like who I am was not enough to hack it here; I needed to be quicker, smarter, wiser, more confident, more soulful and a way better dancer (don’t even get me started about dancing). I wanted to be someone else, not me.
Nothing external, my attitude changed. I realized that who I was today was good enough. That God did not make a mistake bringing the present-me to where I was now and he would prepare me for any modifications that the future-me would need. God is strong enough and wise enough to make me into the me he wants me to be.
And the more I looked to him, the more I noticed that God had been looking out for me when I needed to find a place to stay, providing for me when there was not as much of money as the days left in the month, bring people my way when I felt alone, giving me a subtle rhythm to my everyday life that made me feel a lot more at home.
So yesterday when I remembered the wall hanging I got up, wore my jogging gear and went to the rocky beach nearby. I walked half-way down a cliff facing away from the wind and screamed as loud as I could. I shrieked, yelled, howled and wailed till I ran out of breath and as I let out all my pent-up emotion a calm came over me. And I began to speak (to God) about all those petty thoughts and feelings that I had not found words to express. You see God can take all i got; He ain’t daunted by me!
I do not think it a coincidence that I remembered the words of that wall hanging this week. God reminded me of exactly what I needed to remember when I needed to remember it.
And just like that I am at peace again, all is well and once again my world is all right with me.