A beginning note: I tried about 5,000 times to write this blog (that is a slight exaggeration). I wrote and erased it so many times in fear that some of this post might sound too negative to people that are waiting to hear how I’m doing. So as I was writing and trying to shape what I was going to say, I ended up writing a letter to myself. It sums up how I’m feeling and what I want myself to remember. It can be scary for me to do this. It is scary for me to do this. I’m not sure yet about how I feel about baring my soul and brain to people, but here we are. So thanks friends, for letting me be honest here. Peace to you…
I know you want people to think you’re fine, so you lie when they ask how your new job is going so they don’t worry (because soon you will feel fine, it’s just a lot of change right now).
I know it feels like someone has kidnapped you from Sanctuary, blindfolded you, spun you around, and released you in Parkdale into the careful hands of Erinn and Joanna. You feel disoriented and confused, like you recognize where you are and what you are doing, but you didn’t know any of the faces or names. I know you cried many times when you said you were just going to the washroom, and held back tears as you set up tables and chairs for lunch. You used to know where the tables went and who sat in each seat. I’m sorry you feel guilty that you couldn’t help mend any broken hearts or quiet harsh words from community – you don’t know yet how to connect with people here (but you will learn). Big rooms feel overwhelming to you… it’s okay to sit with one person to chop vegetables and let them talk when they want to because you don’t know what to say. Soon you will know what to say.
I need to remind you that being in community with people will take a lot from you. It takes grace, selflessness, forgiveness, an open heart, and lots of time and space. It’s okay to feel vulnerable. Everyone is new and different. You don’t know where people sit yet, and how long they’ve been around. You don’t know their sorrows and joys, or how they interact with their community. It takes time to know people, and it will take them time to know you as well. This is part of the journey.
I know it’s hard for you to sit and be. Try. When you sit next to someone in drop-in, don’t look for dirty dishes that need cleaning or things that need putting away. Give it a couple minutes, even if you sit quietly next to someone and read the paper. It’s okay to be with people quietly. You can get to know people in this way as well.
There are good times ahead. I know you see it, kid. When someone remembers your name. When people sit across from you and tell you painful things even though they don’t know you, because they sense that they can trust you (be grateful for that). When you celebrate birthdays with community, and laugh with your new team as you guys carry the heaviest of appliances up tiny stairs. When you look around the room and smile. When you leave Erinn and Joanna and feel like your heart is in good hands. Things are good. They will be good.
God has placed you here right now and some days it will feel confusing. You will wonder if He really knew what He was doing. He knew. You have to trust that this is worth it (because it is).
Keep praying for peace and a friend. The Lord hears your prayer.