Monthly Archives: January 2015

Dear IVCF

Hey IVCF… I’m sorry.

I know it’s a bit late coming but hey- better late than never right? I wanted to apologize for something I’ve only just realized I was doing.

I was reading this article recently about the “5 things you shouldn’t say to pastors”, and I was thinking about my future in ministry and nodding at how some of these phrases can come across the wrong way… but also thinking back at how I’ve said some of those things to you.

At small group, on multiple occasions, feeling like I didn’t belong and wasn’t getting anything from the experience… I would confide in private to my small group leaders, and only feel like I wasn’t being listened to when they didn’t take it well. The thing is, I’m a cradle-born Christian, now a 4th year theology student, and actually older than (I think) everybody who was in my group- so shouldn’t I be able to stand on my own a little bit? It’s kind of like saying to a pastor: “I’m not being fed [spiritually]”. By the time you’ve gotten to a stage where you would say this, you shouldn’t have to be spoon-fed spirituality anymore. Just like how every church isn’t a perfect fit, not every bible study is either- and I’m acknowledging now that I could have put more effort into the relationship. So I apologize, I was under a lot of stress last year and I didn’t put what was important first. I’m not a newborn Christian, I am hungry- and a small group may “cook the food” but I don’t need to be spoon-fed, I can feed myself.

smallgroup

Another phrase on that list was “I don’t feel connected”… and while I was afraid of connection, I knew it was there. So I’m sorry for not trusting the connection that God placed between us.

“You know what you should do…”… Well Fiona, you’re right. Maybe it should be more like “you know what I should try”. I wanted to introduce new things but was told that I would just meet a bolted shut door, so I didn’t try– and then when I finally did say something, I was told other people had had the same idea in the past, but nobody had ever put any effort into trying. So I’m sorry for falling into the same pattern as all those before me… and not trying.

“I’m church shopping”. While this doesn’t directly apply to IVCF… it applies to a church I came to be connected with through IVCF. I wasn’t church shopping, I was just dipping my toe in the water to see if it was warm- I wasn’t interested in going to any other church- and I certainly wasn’t trying it on like a pair of jeans– I saw that it was a great community and one that I could get on board with- but for some reason (probably the whole trust issue thing again- but I can’t say for sure) I was reluctant to jump in the water. Or if the shopping metaphor really must be used… I was reluctant to actually make the purchase- even though those jeans fit me- not perfect, but as well as you could hope for.

So for all of that, harboring negative feelings, and more. I’m sorry- I’ll try to be better in the future, although we only have a few months left together. Please forgive me

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Children… and other mood lifters

Getting back to Bangladesh… I realize I haven’t posted in awhile, and even longer since I posted on my experiences in B-desh. (I swear it’s going to be a while before I get through it all- if my posts are chronological, I’ve posted about experiences that happened in the first week and a half actually in the country).

I’ve been feeling pretty exhausted and down lately and I thought maybe making a post might help– if not then I’m one post further into my quest, and no worse off.

Children can be so full of energy and happiness that even when you are feeling your worst- you can’t help but admire them and try to join with them in the wonder of life. I had the privilege to be spending a lot of my time at a daycare- and while there were many kids there, there were a few who became very dear to me. I can’t say their real names because of privacy reasons but let’s call them: Pam, Sara, Rebecca, and Rachel. I miss them…

At this point in the trip, I was starting to question why I was there- what difference was anything making? I was struggling with my emotions, and of course, as I always do- trying to hide that fact. Unfortunately for my secretive habits (maybe fortunately for me- I’m still on the fence about that) I was part of a team, a team that made sure we all embraced vulnerability and stayed open with each other. Back to the kids- I walked in that morning and found a whole crowd of little faces smiling and laughing and I couldn’t help but smile and laugh a bit myself. I gave Pam a drawing I had made for her and she was extremely happy- up to this point Pam had been a little distant (which is fair enough given various circumstances) but it made me so happy to see that I was able to get through her shield. Sara also came running up to me and jumped into my arms- she had on a bright yellow dress and clung to me like a little lemur. Rebecca was quiet and didn’t say much (at any point during my time there) but she reminded me of a girl I knew back home- which made there to be (at least for me) an instant connection- she was my piece of home, half way around the world. Rachel was causing a bit of trouble this day (I got the sense that she had a bit of a impish personality- much like me at her age). Both Rachel and Pam, in their interactions with me and my teammate, found my weakness– tickling. They had me on the floor, muscles spasm-ing because of their quick fingers.

This day- because of the children became a turn-around point… it didn’t last forever but it got me out of the funk I had was in at the time.

In addition to all of this we saw another Caucasian on the street during our free time. Most of our team was Caucasian but it was different seeing someone we didn’t know- I had started to get used to not seeing people of my own ethnicity outside of our team so it surprised me. We had a short conversation and went our separate ways but it made me aware of just how much we stand out.

Another thing to add on- at the end of the day we found out that a fellow team member had stumbled upon a humorous mispronunciation– she was saying “donnopat” when she meant “donnobad”… so instead of saying “thank you” (donnobad) she was saying “holy fart” (donnopat)

A sneak peek at my next B-desh post: it wasn’t long before my self-doubt and generally negative feelings resurfaced. I love the Bengali people, it had nothing to do with them- and everything to do with my personal journey.

Here Is What Happens When Each Myers-Briggs Personality Type Makes A New Year’s Resolution

not that anyone cares but I am an INFJ… and the description here is pretty much exactly why I don’t make new years resolutions

Thought Catalog

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Click here to discover your personality type, then leave your resolution in the comments!

ENFP

“I resolve to make less than thirty new years resolutions this year, and keep at least two of them.”

Outcome: Stays up for fourteen straight days in an attempt to complete first resolution and subsequently ends up creating fifteen more.

ISTJ

“I resolve to be less regimented and spend more time relaxing.”

Outcome: Schedules relaxation between 3:15 and 3:42pm each afternoon, during which time they create detailed lists of how they will relax on following days.

ESFP

“I resolve to party less… On weeknights… Before 5pm.”

Outcome: Drunkenly announces their resolution to five hundred of their closest friend on Thursday January 1st, at the bar, at 4pm.

ENTJ

“I resolve to screw over marginally less of my colleagues as I fearlessly charge towards success.”

Outcome: Keeps a detailed chart of co-workers they are not…

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