Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Advice and Vacations

I spend a lot of my time giving advice. Asked for, unasked for, I give all kinds. When I'm not giving advice I am usually worrying about it. Its a vicious and exhausting cycle.

As I come close to two months of working with Apache youth I can assure you that I mostly feel inadequate and unprepared when it comes to giving advice to my students. My Master's degree was great, but it doesn't make me feel any more confident when it comes to dealing with the issues I come across every day. Some days I rock it, spouting out Scriptures and doing cool object lessons with chairs, but other days I feel like I totally miss the mark.

What this all leads to is a job that wears on you without you noticing it. Listening to my students doesn't seem to make me feel exhausted or defeated, but the pressure of understanding their lives begins to quietly weigh me down. It isn't until it is too late that I realize I have the weight of the world on my shoulders and I need a vacation.

I do wonder why God sent me to a place where my heart would be so burdened. I feel too soft for this job, and I certainly think my life would have been less complicated if I had never met these kids. But I don't wish for that. Despite the pressure on my heart I will continue to do my best to give advice and listen intently. I will pick myself up after each setback and continue being faithful to what God has called me to do.

And I will also take a vacation. Just a short one, a long weekend to Pasadena, California, where I can be loved on and cared for for a few days. I will be refreshed by the food and the fellowship, and I will let other people give me advice. I will pour out my heart and let them sew it back up with their love and compassion, and the hope is that I will come back ready to dive in again. That I will feel filled up and better prepared to do for my students what others have done for me.

Said Moses to the Lord, "I am not able to carry all this people alone, for they are too heavy for me."

The Lord said to Moses, "I will come down and talk with you there; and I will take some of the spirit that is on you and put it on them, and they shall bear the burden of the people along with you so that you will not bear it all by yourself."
 "Is the Lord's power limited? Now you shall see whether my word will come true for you or not."

Numbers 11:14, 17, 23

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