So let’s recap on my life over the past few years. I quit my museum manager job, a career in a town I really liked, to work with a Christian non-profit to teach English to Hungarian teenagers. So basically I was a missionary. I came home after a year to some not good relationships. Mainly with the friend who lost her dad while I was gone, making her an orphan at 25 and a sister-in-law who was cheating on my brother and eventually became an ex-sister-in-law.
I came back with a limping spirit. I was trying to come to terms with being a failure in what I went to Hungary to do, I was trying to deal with being in my home country, I was failing in being a friend to a grieving friend. I slipped into a depression. (Sort of still undiagnosed. It’s a long story.) It took me a long time to feel normal. The first time I felt a glimmer of being normal, it was about 15 months after coming home when I took a weekend trip by myself to the South Dakota Black Hills. It took me even longer to feel consistently normal and okay. Alright, it was time and medication.
I have been back home just over 3 years and this is where I’m at. I’m still living in my hometown and working at a nursing home. I have pretty much no contact with the ex-sister-in-law. The orphaned friend and I have had a very tumultuous relationship and now we have a friendship but still a little distant with each other. I have a medication that is keeping me emotionally level. I got a Florence. I am okay.
There is a thing though. I have never sat down and truly thought what I have thought about missions.
Recently there have been a couple things placed in my life that has made me think how I feel about missions and the church.
I stumbled upon a podcast called Failed Missionary. It literally got me worked up. There’s like 4 episodes but I got tense. I agreed with so much anger and frustration these people have. I understand and get why they don’t want to be missionaries anymore. I get missing the community. I get how missions can hurt the Church. This podcast made me tense cause I have sat and thoroughly thought of what I think and the questions have never been asked to me. Then I got frustrated cause there is no one within a 100 mile radius that I talk to on a regular basis that understands the emotional implications of coming home after being in missions.
Another thing was listening to the audiobook of Jamie Wright’s book The Very Worst Missionary. I agree with her on a lot of things too. There’s a part of me that wants to be best friends with her. Like she gets it. She understands the struggle being away and coming back.
Finally, a friend of mine is dealing with her boyfriend that works with youth in the church and slept with a married woman before they started dating and then lied to her about it. I don’t agree with her staying with him. And I see issues with how that situation is being dealt with in the church even if the majority of the church doesn’t know. I can only be so blunt with her. She will stay in a relationship until she sees through the words.
Do I believe in Christ? Yes absolutely. Do I think foreign missions is great? I think it can be if the missionary is doing it right and it’s a long term commitment. It should be a relationship thing with missions in the far reaches of your brain. Yes speak about your faith but set yourself apart by your actions and people will come to you. Do I believe the church is a good thing? That’s a tough question because people are flawed. And each church is different. I believe that fellowship is good. Learning and growing in Christ is good. But people can be horrible, even if they’re Christians. I think there’s a church for everyone. There will always be disagreements on something no matter where you go and with at least one person. But, the fellowship and community is a good thing.
I have opinions. Some of them can be harsh. I understand that. But what I’ve realized is that the older one gets, the more one realizes and learns. It’s hard not to be jaded or harsh on some things.