Living Parallel Lives

Life has a funny way of bringing you what you need, exactly when you need it sometimes.  I guess that’s just God looking out for you, but sometimes it seems so coincidental.

In the last couple years I’ve been spending time with my dad going through things in his house: purging, and organizing, and reminiscing.  Often through this process we stumble upon hidden gems and items we didn’t know (or didn’t remember) existed.  Recently, one of those items was the journal my mom kept during most of her time in Zaire.  She served as a missionary through the United Methodist Church teaching Mathematics to middle and high school students.  Her handwriting looks different,  but eerily the same.  Her voice sounds different, she sounds…ambitious, young, dedicated, passionate.  But you can also hear the struggles, the questioning, the unsure-ity (is that a word?) and doubt.  Those are a lot of the same feelings I am confronted with right now as well.

I can’t claim that my experience is the same as hers. But situationally I can see the connective points of what she went through and what I am going through. It’s been a strange reality–to read it instead of discussing it with her, to feel her presence in my own struggles and emotions, to know that there is the constant reminder that no matter what happens she is right beside me.

It makes me wonder back to journaling my own thoughts, and what my future children will think of my words they might have the chance to read. How will they see me? What will they take away for their own lives? And how can I comfort them even by just giving them the realization that we all go through difficult times, times that make us want to pull out our hair, times that push us to (or past) the brink of tears, times that challenge us and make us stronger, wiser, and more ourselves.

All of these various thoughts push me to regroup myself. I remind myself of my worth, of my inner strength, of my talent, of my compassion and heart, of my need for self-care, of my desire to leave the world and my community even just a little bit better than it was when I was born to this time and place. I am learning to find me again. I’m learning to trust myself. I am learning that somethings I thought were important aren’t. And I’m remembering some of the important things I’ve overlooked along the way. I strive to do better, to create opportunities to grow and flourish, and surround myself with those who help me get there.

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