Monday, November 9, 2015

Stepping Back

It's been a while since I have posted a "real" post. There has been so much going on in my head, my heart, my soul and what are the boundaries of sharing? What needs to stay close to my heart and what needs to be poured onto virtual paper? In a way this blog is as much for me as it is for you. As I write I heal. As I write, I discover. As I write, I realize.

Throughout my three years of being involved with Apache Youth Ministries my heart has so many times teetered between soft and hard. At times I have been so overwhelmed by the sorrows that I cannot fix and in other instances I have become callous and feelingless. It is the frustration of extremes- either my tears are relentless or my gaze is empty and feelingless. My heart cannot figure out how to handle all that I've seen, witnessed, heard over the last few years. I push it away and at the same time I refuse to let it out of my grasp. The experience is such a part of me. It has shaped who I am for better or for worse.

The impact of it all hit me like a brick one night, like a bad break-up. I've been so attached, so devoured by my ministry that taking a step back is like ripping away my child. There was one night where I sobbed and sobbed for hours. So much sorrow poured out of me and I couldn't figure out why. In part I think that my identity was so wrapped up in my work that when I step back for boundary-sake I don't know who I am anymore. What is my purpose if not to be praised for my hard and heart-breaking work?

Though I am stepping away from AYM, I am not stepping completely away from the rez. I have four girls and two "sons" who are still near and dear to my life. I still find myself buying baby clothes, talking to girls about cutting and life and Christ, answering tearful phone calls and helping my senior girl apply for college. My life and tie with the reservation has in no way been severed, but in a new season, a season of boundaries, I am forced to admit that my life-breath was to serve those kids and now my priority has to shift. My priority must be to serve God by serving my own family and future with my husband.

I cannot even explain how my heart feels as I write this. My love will always be the reservation. My heart-beat will always be for what God is doing on reservations all over America. But for this new season I must build a life of healing. That's what the past month has been about really- healing from 2 years consumed by the impact of suffering, remembering who I am in Christ, and learning how to breathe normally again.

I am in no way fully back to who I was and I doubt that I ever will be. But I thank God for good people who are walking alongside me as I seek to make peace with the sufferings of others and as I figure out my place in God's calling. Transitions are hard and change is tough, but thank goodness the glory of the Lord endures forever! 

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