So today I’m feeling a little down..
I’m learning that the immensity of my heart is bigger than I thought…
It’s like the sea.. and sometimes I’m frightened by it’s raging, sometimes I’m swallowed up in its peace.
Either way, I’m learning that it’s all apart of me.
Today there’s some raging in me. Some I’m having a hard time putting words too.
Over 250 days ago, I boarded a plane in Phnom Penh, Cambodia to head home. Home, I hadn’t seen a month. I can remember sitting in the airport watching out the window at the sun going down, it was a familiar site; one I had been falling in love with. As I sat there I thought about what the next few steps would be, what they would do to me. So I argued with myself about getting on the plane, I knew I should but I had been romanced to the point of abandonment at the Hope I found in hopelessness, and the Peace I found in chaos, and Wealth I found in poverty.
Weeks prior to this I sat at the lunch table with a close group of people and said “If things aren’t different when I come home from Cambodia, then I’m done, I’m throwing in the towel…” and so was my heart when I arrived in Thailand a few days later. I was restless, disappointed, and jaded. But like every other time… Asia brought a peace to my restlessness. So when I arrived in Cambodia in the following days, I was raw, and ready for connection.
And I wasn’t disappointed.
While I was in Cambodia, I volunteered at an NGO (non-government owned) organization called “Daughters of Cambodia”, the purpose of Daughters is to give girl in the sex-trade the opportunity of life outside of the industry. It provides them with work, child care, medical assistance, and family. The volunteers get to live, and work among the girls teaching them to love themselves for the value and beauty that’s in them, while providing avenues of employment.
I was among them, I saw their brokenness and I held their beauty. I heard them sing, and laugh, and cry. I saw their disbelief and their hope. It was overwhelming.
So all this flashed in my mind and in that moment, I decided to stay. …………………………………………….
………………………………………………… So jumping on Facebook via my Ipod, I was going to email my Brother and tell him of my decision. Now, I was aware that as soon as he got that email he would just book a flight and come get me himself but that would take at least 3 days and that was okay with me. But then all of the sudden got an alert, someone was chatting with me.
My mother had gotten up in time to check Facebook before waking up the circus that is my household. Her first message to me was “Laney! I’m going to see you tomorrow!”……… And.. well… that did it. I was getting on a plane to the States. Truth is, if she hadn’t said anything, I would have reclaimed my baggage, called my tuk-tuk and gone back to my apartment.
So 40 hours later, I walked out of the terminal in the Jacksonville Airport, holding my carry-on like a teddy bear (instead of rolling it like it was intended), and I stopped. In that moment, and it was only a moment, I could see my family but they couldn’t see me, then I caught the eye of my little brother and toward me come a stampede of people and I just stood there until they ran into me. People hugging and kissing me, and laughing in relief that I was actually there, and behind all of them stood my mother, with single tears streaming down her face and I just smiled.
So you can only imagine what the next month looked like. I was relearning how to live in the US and I was a mess and I was sleepless and eating “lunch” at 2am because that was normal.
So on days like today, I remember sitting in that airport holding a ticket, watching the sun go down, I remember all those feelings, like the are happening right now, and I get the blues.. And I listen to the amazing people in my life say “Cambodia’s still going to be there, promise” and I smile and resettle myself to live in the now, and not the past or future.
“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” (Philippians 4:13-14- the Message)
Today, I’m breathing in the experiences I have had; I’m remembering- with bright eyes- the look, smells, and feel of a 3rd world country, and I’m smiling…