Saturday, July 21, 2012
Why can't strong people always be strong?
This week has had its highs and lows, as every week does. The highs included great discussions with Helen Mulli about the design and planning of the toddler home, singing happy birthday to little Emmanuel, having Miriam decide that she likes me (even after all that happened to her at the hospital) and hugging my dear Chloe when she needed lovin’.
The lows included finding out that my cousin Paul (who should be here in Swaziland right now with my cousin Kim, Jeremy, Matthew and Joanna) possibly has an inoperable brain tumor that showed up as a brain infection only a few weeks ago causing them to cancel their trip. We will have confirmation next week so please pray for them all. My cousin Kim is the person who is also my mom’s primary caregiver in Guelph, Ontario and I weep knowing that she is caring this heavy load while I am here. This week we also found out that my mom is being moved back to her nursing home after a 7 week stay at a mental hospital (she would lose her bed/room at the nursing home after 8 weeks), and she is furious because she prefers the mental hospital to the nursing home. Really.
I find myself in tears a lot these days, overwhelmed with the amount of work that needs to be done here at Project Canaan, overwhelmed that I personally don’t have any of the skill sets needed to do the work, overwhelmed that we don’t have the funds to do what we need to do and often overwhelmed that I am overwhelmed even though I am serving a BIG GOD and I should know better. Sigh. Repent again.
Someone asked what my biggest challenge is here and that answer could change daily, but this past week it has been trying to keep a happy face when I am just plain tired or frustrated or hurting. You see, strong people are always supposed to be strong. That is what everyone expects, and frankly, demands. We aren’t supposed to snap at people, get frustrated (and show it) or have a bad day/week/month. We are supposed to just move on as if we were Super-human, even when the day ahead seems impossible. But I am not Super-human, I am just human and broken like everyone else. Maybe I just hide it better and longer than others do. As the children's Sunday school song Jesus Loves Me says, "I am weak, but He is strong" and sometimes I just need to be reminded that He is my strength when I am in a valley.
On a happy note we got a lot of work done at the baby home this week. The volunteer team who is with us did a terrific job of preparing and planting a large garden, building a laundry facility and painting the roof. Denis and Anthony were amazing and working with the team and Peter moved mountains of dirt as we prepare to build a shade structure for our little ones to enjoy outside. But my biggest thank you of the week goes to our long time friend Ralph Glass who came and volunteered at Project Canaan for the past six weeks. His help, his encouragement, his friendship and his ability to do anything that was needed is appreciated by all. Thank you Ralph for giving of yourself so selflessly. Come back again any time.
As I drove home this morning from my early morning school bus drop off I was listening to the local radio station. There was a pastor giving a message and it was based on Isaiah 40:30-31 which reads, “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
My hope is in the Lord and I know that I will be renewed by Him, and I am thankful.
Live from Swaziland I am still weak, but He will always be strong.