Monday, March 03, 2008

Let the river flow..

So tonight was my last "speaking" event at Newberg Christian Church. It was to coincide with the end of their Faith Promise Rally and also with the Joani Tabor concert they were having.

So after the first song David gets up and announces the pledge amount for the year that was calculated so awesome amount...and then the video starts...and then I start...


Yep. Like always, it snuck up on me. I am watching this video, that I have seen before and listening to the words and seeing the familiar faces and background and I just can't keep it in. I cried. And cried. And then the DVD finishes and David turns around and motions its my turn...(in his defense he didn't know I was crying, I cry quietly.) So I stand up, and well, any words I had prepared are pointless and I really can't even mutter a word, I just stood there, wiped the tears and looked into the crowd and well...continued crying. Thankfully people picked up on the fact that I wasn't going to be able to talk anytime soon and we just transitioned into prayer, which was great, cause I needed it...and I continued to cry, and a sweet lady handed me a packet of tissues...and I continued to cry.

And prayer time ends. And I kept crying. Tears kept flowing and the nose that was so congested last week started running and kept running and I found myself in the back sitting with Linda Tompkins listening to the concert...and yep you guessed it...kept crying.

She lovingly asked if I needed to talk, and talk I could not do, so she lovingly sat there and let me cry. I found myself grateful for the mom-like person next to me, and the dark room, and the music, and the family of friends around me, who were of course concerned, but really didn't know what to do with this crazy missionary girl who is usually upbeat and just can't seem to stop crying. But they knew. My heart was breaking.

Moments like this haven't happened too often since I returned home, but then again there hasn't been time for them. There hasn't been much of a moment for me to dwell on the last two months let alone the last two years, and I have to say, 2 weeks just wasn't enough time to say goodbye to Tanzania.

So afterwards I processed over a grilled cheese sandwich with David and his wife Julie. Cautiously I was asked if I was ok, and if I needed anything and how I was doing...

And this is what I can say about the tears that flowed tonight...

I just had the most amazing 2 years of my life. Watching that video reminded me of so many people I love and so many people who have loved me and we lived life together, we journeyed together and it was so hard but it was so amazing and man, part of me would like to be there right now even though I know God wants me here, just for the mere fact that I know how to live life there, and well I still haven't figured out how to live life here yet.

Watching that video sparked in me reminders of how great God is and my heart wept tonight. Yes there were tears of grief from the pain over the last couple of years, but there were tears of abundant joy as well because it is truly awesome to think back and reflect on all that God has done. There were tears of excitement because I know God is not done working there, and there were tears of sadness because I know I won't play the role I had been playing.

There were tears. Many of them. Although I will say I didn't really like the timing of them, I know they were good, and that God used them well, and used the people surrounding me well too. I also know there will be more...I just don't know when.


Anonymous said...


God showed up BIG TIME. Your emotion was / is a more powerful sermon than words of how God has used and blessed you during your time in Africa.
Trust that this is not an ending, just the beginning of a new chapter by the author of "The Book".

"We" in Cary love your heart!

woosterweester said...

You sound like my kind of missionary.:) I wholeheartedly agree with the above comment...tears are often more powerful than words. Ditto the WOW (and I wasn't even there!) It takes a very strong, secure person to openly show emotion in front of hundred/thousands of people, and one who is absolutely "undone" by the love of Christ can respond no other way. Love it.