Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Getting Back on the Horse That Threw Me

Sometimes you get thrown from the horse. I saw that happen once, to my mother in fact, and it's not a pretty sight. However, the first rule of riding is: If you get thrown, get up, and get back on the horse. If you don't then you will probably never ride again.

Sometimes, though, the horse isn't a horse. Sometimes it's a room of rambunctious children who don't want to listen. Sometimes it's hearing something the hurts your feelings. Sometimes it's seeing an old guy trip and fall and not having anything to help him with. Sometimes it's hearing a sad song. And sometimes it is all these things.

When this happens maybe you think, "I didn't sign up for this. This isn't the missions experience I agreed to. I mean, I'll clean a toilet but feel ineffective and frustrated? No way! Not my bag!" And you have a choice: you can throw in the towel and give up or you can get right back in there and try again.

You can stay up planning games and activities and quiet signals for the kids so that they won't be bored or crazy and so that you don't have to yell over them (or at them). You remind yourself that people are people and they will say things that hurt. You remind yourself that feelings aren't facts and just because someone said something hurtful that does not make it true. You put some Kleenex in your purse in case you encounter someone else who has tripped. Then you throw in some band-aids just to make double sure you are covered. You put on some Iggy Azalea and Miley Cyrus and rock out to some feel good girl anthems. You pray. A lot. You talk it over with your friends and then you pray some more. And then you dive back in. Because, really, giving up was never an option.

And maybe, just maybe, something will happen...

The kids will still be kids but suddenly they want you to catch them being good. They want to lavish you with love. Someone will want to make you three loom band bracelets and bring them proudly to you, one by one, so that you can exclaim how beautiful they are and how sweet the child is who took the time to create this masterpiece for you.

Playtime will go exceptionally well, even the silly things like putting stickers on your forehead for good behavior will go well. Your friends will speak your love language directly to your heart and thank you for organizing the activities. No elderly people will fall on your walk home. And you will feel like maybe, just maybe, with God's help, you might just be able to do this thing called "missions."
I can promise that not every day will end with a smile. I can promise that this is tough stuff. I can promise that there will be tears. But there are the days that end with a smile, a hug, and a kiss. There are times when everything clicks and it starts to feel right. There will be laughter so intense your sides will hurt. And there will be days that are somewhere in between. But the smiles, hugs, kisses, laughter, and confirmation make it all worth it. So totally worth it.

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