Being a missionary in a foreign field can be challenging. We all have days that make us want to throw up our hands and scream but adding in cultural differences, language barriers, and physical separation from family and loved ones can make the struggle very real very quick.
Yesterday was one of those days that was a challenge for me. Let me explain that one thing I am praying for this year is to be reminded that each of these kids is dealing with demons. And some of those demons are very large and very scary. By praying that I will remember what these kids are dealing with I am also praying that I will have patience when dealing with them. I find myself sometimes getting frustrated with the kids when they act out because I so quickly forget that they are dealing with massive amounts of trauma and hurt. Well, you know that you should never pray for patience, right? Because to get more patience you have to have your patience tested. Yesterday there were a lot of things testing my patience, the lovely children I work with being one of those things. As it turns out, yesterday was a real struggle for my co-workers too so we packed it up and headed out much earlier than any of us had anticipated.
The whole way home I was thinking to myself and praying. I was thankful that I had not gone completely nut-so on the kids (I only raised my voice once and it was more of a loud talking voice than a yell). But I was also frustrated by so many other things. And I wasn't sure if I was handling any of it right. I prayed that God would take away my feelings of frustration. I was eventually able to simmer down after I arrived home and engaged myself with some non-work related items.
Fast forward to today.
I'm unpacking my therapy bags from yesterday to repack them for the classes that I had to lead today when I came across this:
Seeing this simple message made me stop in my tracks. It was as if God had reached out to me in that moment and said, "It's going to be ok." And I realized it is. Tomorrow may suck, the day after it my be rough too, but one day things will be a little less sucky and a little less rough. The kids are never going to all act like little angels (I'd actually be afraid they were on drugs if that happened) and there will still be challenges that are bigger than us that we won't be able to overcome without some serious inside help. But things are changing. The kids are getting better. Maybe in tiny increments that are nearly impossible to see. But they are. And even when they misbehave and lash out at us because they have hurts they can't handle they know that we love them and that we can be the stability they need in their lives.
So, if tomorrow sucks I'll just look at this picture again and think, "It's going to be ok."
P.S. Today was much better and hardly sucked at all.