Sunday, August 5, 2012

TD.12 (Lessons Learned)

Read A Summary, Part One and A Summary, Part Two.

On July 27 at 5:58 PM I wrote this in my Mission Trip 2012 journal:

Today was... interesting. Definitely busy, but not the good kind of busy.  Lunch was good - fish cooked three ways.  I learned Americans, myself included, don't like breadfruit.  Then during free time was the girls' hike, and that's when things went south.  The hike was divided in half so those who wanted could go back to camp midway.  By the time we got to that point I was out of breath and very weak and tired, so I went with Jonathan, Katie, Andrew, Ashlee, Alex, Adina, Zach, and later Mrs. Bartow.  I never made it back to camp - I pretty much collapsed on the side of the road.  I had to fight to not puke or cry and I was so dizzy.  Jonathan and Mrs. Bartow poured water on my head; Adina and Mrs. Bartow used the electric fans; Ashlee gave me a rag to wipe my face off; Jonathan cut down a big leaf to fan me.  Alex, who had sprained his ankle, actually ran back to camp with Andrew so the bus could come get me.  Jonathan and one of the other guys - I was too out of it to know who - had to lift me into the van.  Somebody - again I have no idea who - carried me off the van to a chair, where I stayed with ice pops, Sprite, and a banana for a good while.
Katie and later Ricky and Kurwington actually took photos of me looking horrific, so I now have evidence of my first (and hopefully only) bout of heat exhaustion.

from left: Mrs. Bartow, Jonathan, Adina, Zach. and obviously me in the middle looking as red and bloated as a watermelon.

On July 28 at 7:54 AM I wrote this to share in the last chapel service of camp:


Last night for cabin devotions everyone shared something they've learned this week, and I realized that yesterday's episode was a lesson for me.  I like to be a strong, flexible, reliable girl who, no matter what goes wrong or how life looks, is ready to smile, sing "Hakuna Matata," and keep moving forward like it was all part of the plan.  It's just part of my personality.  And when my reaction to problems isn't quite so happy, I chant "I can do this.  I can get through this." and just keep pushing on until the problem passes.
That was me yesterday.  I kept saying that I was okay and just needed a short breather, telling myself that if I only made it to the camp, then I could rest.  But finally my body quit listening to me.  I was forced to admit that No, I was not okay - far from it; and then I had to sit and accept help.  When my family offers help, I accept it easily.  For others, I have more trouble.  I like to do things myself and look like I'm good, I can do anything, I know what I'm doing.  So accepting help because I have no choice is hard for me.  I felt like I was such a burden yesterday - others were giving their time, water, energy, etc. just because I was weak.  I felt upset and selfish, like it was my fault I couldn't be strong and take care of my own illness.
By the time the van came and I got back to camp, I was so out of it that I don't even know who helped me out of the vehicle and who carried me to a chair.  It was awful.
Last night, thinking about all that, I saw clearly the lesson God has for me this week: It's okay to be weak sometimes.  It's good to accept help from others and to admit that you can't do everything and help everyone, especially without someone helping you too.  And it's necessary in my life right now for me to let go of my self-dependence, my strong attitude/personality and learn to rely on God and say "Yes, I need help."
I close with this verse, which seems so tailored for my situation: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 "And He said unto me, 'My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.'  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecution, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."

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