Saturday, February 02, was a hard day. A very, very hard day. Anger burst out at the seams of every part of me. I was angry at God. Angry at myself. And even more angry at God. I’d written in my journal the night before that I was giving up. That flight would never be possible for me. I broke down in the parking lot of Einstein’s Bagels and was grateful that my husband allowed me to go back to the car for an ugly, angry cry while he got my bagel and orange juice.
The day before in the monotony of my job, of entering invoices, clicking here and there I believe the fire started. I sat staring at my computer screen wondering why in hell I wasn’t doing what I’m passionate about. Why I’m sitting in a cube 8 hours a day instead of working with orphans and/or doing orphan care the way my soul cries to do.
I’d had enough! I
missed miss Moldova more than I thought I would could.
For my introvert self the constant influx of people around me wore my edges thin. Thankfully, our team is an amazing, understanding group of women. When one said they needed their space we all were willing to give it. I couldn’t have asked for a greater group of women to have traveled with. But for this community starved woman, this woman who craves shared moments with friends over possessions, the influx of people was a sweet nectar.
I miss it. Oh how I miss the community I had with my team, that I had with a people group I could barely communicate with.
On that same Saturday, the hard one, I had a chance to sit across from a friend and allow her to speak into my life. She has done a number of short missions, and lived in Bosnia for all together 8 months. She put words to the emotions, I still can’t.
During the course of our conversation she shared one of the differences between the US and places like Moldova. When you have little money you value different things than when you have money. We base our happiness, and in some cases our joy on the money and things we have or don’t have. She shared that in Eastern Europe where for many people having a cup of coffee out is a special expense, that shared cup of coffee is more about those you’re communing with, than getting your daily dose of caffeine. She told me that there they live in financial poverty, while we in the US live in emotional/communal poverty. We’ve given up knowing our neighbors, long talks with friends, the joy of just being together; but we’ve gained our houses and our cars and our American Dream. We’ve gained, but oh what we’ve lost.
I shared that during our house visits we visited a young single mom who served us traditional Moldovan cake & tea. Her family isn’t rich by any means. The poor in the US would seem rich to them. But when I looked in her eyes I saw joy. I saw a contentment for what they had. And I saw that it was a joy for her to give out of her little to bless us. I experienced that with everyone I met while there. They aren’t defined by the lack of money in their bank account. They’re defined by who they are, how they love. And oh they love well.
Over the last several years God has been changing my perspective on my faith. Like I said I crave those moments with friends more than I long for a new pair of shoes or the latest technological thing to have. I’m a woman with no local community and I am starved for it. The things that line my walls and fill up my floor space mean nothing. When the lights are low and the TV plays another show, it’s simply a band-aid. My soul and my heart feel just as impoverished as they did before I put the band-aid on.
How are you living rich today?