Sunday, February 14, 2016
Days 1 & 2
Two days in and I'm a bit tired. 100% girl time can actually be a bit exhausting! I'm used to a quiet life with a routine that I try to keep in balance. I need time with people as well as alone time, so right now I'm listening to the quiet before we meet again for group time. Our first day here was one to orient everyone to the hotel, and tour; help us begin to get to know one another; ease our way into Thailand; and for the others on my trip, begin fighting jet lag.
Because I live overseas, a lot of the advice went in one ear and out the other, making a short stop in my brain before filtering on through. I've got most of this culture and traveling stuff figured out. But there were other things that were talked about that stopped in my mind and have been tumbling around, waiting to sink into my soul and change me.
We are going to encounter circumstances and people in the upcoming week that are going to challenge me in my reaction to them. It's going to be hard. It's going to be embarrassing and it's going to be easy to judge. I'm thinking about this on the front end of things so that I don't knowingly walk into these situations, blunder around and hurt everyone in my path, leaving a messy trail of pain behind. I want to walk with integrity and I want to show every single person I meet in my life, not only this week, but on a daily basis, that they are important and loved by God.
In our "Girl Headquarters," our leader sat and talked with us about our eyes. As a Christian we often talk about our eyes in a very spiritual sense, looking into hearts with our eyes and seeing God. Instead, she was talking about our physical eyes, which are a part of our faces which work together to tell a story to people around us. First, do I even look people in the eyes? I don't know, in fact, I think I avoid contact. I always have. This goes back to a situation in high school. I had a teacher pull me aside one day and tell me I had "fire in my eyes." In my opinion, a situation had just happened that was not fair. I think of it today and I still think it was not fair. People had been chosen and elevated for the wrong reasons. This teacher told me that I had to chose what I was going to use that fire for. He was right. I have a passion in my heart for justice. When things are broken and wrong, I want to call out the wrong and find a way to bring justice. But the result, at that age, was that I stopped looking people in the eye. I became afraid of what they would see inside me. They eyes can be very vulnerable. I became scared that everything inside me was bad, even things that I thought were good. I lost trust in myself that what I was conveying to others through my eyes was good. When we do the outreach evening, we are to look women in the eyes and show them compassion and love. I'm struggling to believe that I can do that only because the one person who ever commented on looking though my eyes to my soul, judged me wrong. I don't want to be judged wrong because my heart is broken and full of compassion for all women, I just don't do a good job of showing it.
I pray tonight, as my eyes close and my body rests, that God will change me. That I will be able to look at all people with confidence and love.