Sunday, July 29, 2012

Gnarly-faced Second Cousin.

So as strange as this might seem to read... I’m baaa-aack!

Yes. It’s been ages since I’ve had something to say.

Yes. I’ve been terribly negligent of all things written and read.

Yes. Many of you have probably moved on to better and more interesting places.
    --And if so, that’s great.

But for those die-hards out there just waiting for me to find my voice again.

Achemmm. Mi-mi-mi-mi... Counting. One. Two.... Counting. Three.

It’s found!

Before I start rambling about the amazing things I’ve seen, tasted, heard, and done in the last few weeks --achem.. I mean months-- let me explain my silence.

One: Purpose.

This blog was created for my prayer warriors and supporters to know where I am, what I’m doing, and how to be in prayer. Thus explaining the many stories of my adventures and need for prayer over the years.

But for reasons I’ll get into shortly, this summer has been different. Although there have been many adventures, I didn't know how to share them. Plus, I was unable to write about them while huddled in a fetal position moaning --thus leading me to my second reason.

Two: PTSD


I’m a missionary, but I’m far from perfect. I struggle like you. I fail like you. I hurt like you. And the chaos of leaving Sudan, coming back to the States, and having to change missions organizations was in many ways too much for me to bear.

“Why is it so hard this time?” I kept asking myself. But no answers came. Just silence.

It was only by the second month of my return that it occur to me that the reason I struggled to unfurl from the fetal position was because of PTSD (otherwise known as: Post-traumatic stress disorder). But even after knowing the cause, how could I fix it?

Was I broken forever? Would I have to leave the field? Why couldn’t I make a decision? Why couldn’t I feel anything anymore? Why did I hate talking about Sudan?

I didn’t have any answers. Nor did I find many who could help.

Plus there was the shame factor.

How could I suggest that I was dealing with the same kind of stress of our honored soldiers did? I never walked through war? I didn’t suffer bombings; I didn’t struggle against insurgents. In fact, most of my time in S. Sudan was uneventful and even... peaceful. Nothing horrible happened, so why would I struggle so much? How could it be PTSD?

It was a mystery to me.

Nevertheless, what I experienced this summer was far from culture shock. It was culture shock on speed. It left culture shock in the dust. This gnarly-faced, steroid-infused, toothless, inbred, back-woods, second cousin of culture shock took me for a ride and left me reeling.

But by His grace...  the ride finally ended.

I can think again; I can feel again; I can write again. So here I am, writing to say Thank You.

Thank you for praying for me. Thank you for caring for me. Thank you for allowing me the time to send this ‘back-woods second cousin’ packing.

And with him gone... I’ve found my voice again.

So expect more stories soon. Very soon.