it has been a while since i’ve jumped on here, and if you’re a regular reader i’m sure you’ve caught on to the fact that i haven’t been writing too regularly the past couple of months. my heart is beating a little faster and my palms are getting a little sweatier because i still find it hard to be honest here sometimes, even though i know being vulnerable with you is what brings us closer together and can bring healing.
to be honest, this summer was hard for me in relation to working at the dale. i don’t think many people know this besides ian, jo and erinn because i haven’t talked much about it online or otherwise. for some reason(s) which i am trying to collect in my mind still, i’ve had a really hard time mentally being at work. i think between planning a wedding, getting married, starting part time at sanctuary again, and moving, etc etc, my ability to connect with my community and dale friends dwindled.
i started to doubt myself, my ability and skills, my reason for doing this work, if i was even supposed to be doing this work, and my God for what felt like leading me here and bailing. it got to the point where i would cry on sunday nights, dreading the week ahead. a couple of weeks ago i finally came clean during a monday morning check in. let’s just say it wasn’t easy for any of us. for me to tell, and for jo and erinn to hear i am sure. there were some tears. however, speaking my truth to my team was a huge deal for me and it lifted a giant weight off my shoulders. they spoke encouragement into me, and erinn and i had a meeting the next day which helped my spirit a lot.
i realized that while i had been so overwhelmed with life things, my capacity to relate to people had left me. i didn’t have the desire to sit and chat with my dale friends, maybe because i did not want to be honest with how i was feeling – that i wasn’t feeling connected in this community. but at the dale, that is one thing we value most of all: being honest in our brokenness, because we are all broken in some way, and holding each other tightly during these moments of vulnerability is really important. as a staff team, we receive lots of love just as much as we pour out.
i realized that instead of dealing with my brokenness, i had been hiding it from my team and i had been retreating from my community. i was in the kitchen a lot, trying to keep busy doing work with my hands instead of sitting with my people and doing work with my heart. and if you know me and us, you know that one piece of advice to anyone coming to the dale for the first time is to sit down next to someone and talk. it may feel like to serve is to always be “doing” something. but sitting down next to someone and chatting, or reading the paper, or eating a meal etc is a HUGE part of serving in God’s kingdom. Jesus did it himself with numerous people! He loved people by being with them.
a goal of mine for the past couple of weeks since being honest with my feelings, has been to step right out of the kitchen and sit at a table with my friends and chat. it’s hard for me still, and i’m not saying being in the kitchen is unnecessary because it is needed and an important part of making a community meal. however, for me, i was really missing that connection with my folks. and since stepping out of the kitchen more, i have felt a lot better. i’ve enjoyed talking with people about movie reviews, asking them how their week was, telling them about mine, passing the platter of food, and talking about our favourite various things.
by stepping into my discomfort and connecting with people again, i have felt a little more like myself. it was a reset that i needed. it will not always be easy and there will still be times i’m sure where i doubt myself. but i am working on connecting with my team and my community more so we can support each other and love each other through all the seasons of change and lifeness.
whew. this turned out a lot longer than i expected and i didn’t know all this was going to come out when i started typing. if you made it this far, thanks for reading and coming along this blog journey with me. i ask for your prayer into the fall as i try to step more into community and out of my shell in the kitchen. i ask for your encouragement and i thank you to whoever is reading this for being on my team. you are so appreciated.
peace to you.
ps: thanks for understanding when my words only flow on here once in a blue moon. i am working on being back here more regularly 🙂
It would mean so much to me if you were able to partner financially with The Dale to support my role within this ministry. There are a number of ways to do this, including CanadaHelps, PAR, or cheque. Please reach out to me if you would like more information on partnering with me in this way. Thanks for your support!