Sunday, August 11, 2013

Cambodia...and the lessons a parasite taught me.

I know it has been forever since I have posted anything, but a creative bug (my parasite buddy) has made me rather self-reflective lately....for many reasons.

One reason is that I have not been able to do much other then work and sleep (and think). Another reason is that all that downtime (and cabin fever) has caused me to really adjust my perspective and what I value in life. And lastly, I feel like I owe God! For all the anger and frustration I spewed at Him after returning from Cambodia and being sick....He actually had more of a plan then my narrow understanding allowed for.

Okay so quick back story for those of you who do not know what happened. About five days or so into my Cambodian trip I got really, REALLY sick. My old Teen Mania buddies would refer to it as the Big D...but it ended up being a lot more then that. I literally did not leave, could not leave the hotel for three days....and the frustration set in. Why in the world would God bring me clear across the world to only end up living in my hotel room. I missed the prayer walk...I missed the village day...I missed a lot!!! Course at the time I didn't have much energy to formulate to much thinking...but once I began to feel a bit better all I could do is see was intense frustration and then have an all out cry fest. (I know...woe is me! lol) I later found out I had a parasite. 

On the fourth day...I began to feel better and things began to change (but it was only later I found out that the change was for the good). Since I could leave my room for more then 10 minutes without running back to the bathroom in desperation I decided I wanted to join the team. Well i did it..but I had to take a LOT of breaks...and at one point I laid down...and ended up passing out.  During one of the breaks, I began to frustrated that I was sick...and a few women from my team came to pray over me. One of the words I received was that God had put me on my back on purpose. He wanted to talk to me....He knows I can DO things but He wanted to BE with me...and wanted me to go deeper, be an intercessor for Him..for the team.  Some might thing...WELL see there God did have something for you....but for my personality prayer feels like doing a lot of nothing when there is painting, cleaning and actual work to be done. Oh how wrong can one little lady be?!?!?!

After I returned home I was feeling better but quickly relapsed...and from that point I got really angry with God. I couldn't work, I couldn't leave my house....I basically disappeared from life. Confused, fighting depression, unhealthy I would lay in my bed and just cry...I have traveled all of the world and have NEVER gotten sick. And I knew (know) that God told me to go to Cambodia...I didn't have to raise a finger to raise the was effortless. So why? What was the point if I was only going to end up sick and miss some of the trip...and now missing work, and not seeing my family or friends. What the madness? It doesn't make sense? Ever felt that way?

Slowly (what actually felt...v....e.....r....y.....S....L....O....W) I have gotten better....and since that slow climb back out of the dark hole I have noticed my perspective on a few things have changed. For one...I value my health like never before. You don't know how bad you feel till you start to feel good again. To me in those moments of desperation, loneliness and frustration I begged...I pleaded with God to heal me. You know the whole.....God I promise to do this if you do I know but in those moments I would h ave done anything. Since, I have been aware of my PHYSICAL HEALTH (you will start to see a theme).

Another perspective shift is the importance of my friends and family. Its not that I feel as though I was taking advantage of either, but I am not sure I was as grateful for them as I am now. In Cambodia my United Womens team was one of the most special things to me about the trip. We were so unified and focused on supporting each other...that when I came back and could not go to church or to any of the outings that were planned...I felt robbed. Why God did You allow me to fall in love with these women only to have me get sick and lose touch (geez how narcissistic can one person sound?..whine, whine, whine) But that wasn't entirely true...during that time...I had friends and family (my amazing mother) that would come over at all hours of the day AND night to bring me Gas-X, Campbells soup, Gatorade, lecture me about not going to the doctor, etc. So coming out of my stupor I realized how blessed I am to have people that care...even care enough to tell me to suck it up and stop being a whiny baby.    lol No joke. Realizing the shift in EMOTIONAL HEALTH

Lastly, through all of this I have seen how God broke some things in my life and reignited a passion for Him.  He broke some unhealthy dependencies, altered a few negative thinking patterns, and really changed my focus from myself (I can do things on my own) to focusing on Him. Honestly for months I have struggled with how to get my passion/love/zeal for God back. The start of the trip really kicked things into gear...being around such Godly, amazing women...but honestly the digging and going deeper happened when I was by myself, praying....listening to worship....reflecting on the last two years. Realizing I need a desperate shift in my SPIRITUAL HEALTH. God convicted my selfish focus and unrealistic expectations for myself....and thus a crazy, perpetual cycle that had my focus fixated on what I didn't have verses what God has blessed me with.

So as you can see...HEALTH...physical, emotional and spiritual health...three HUGE areas that I truly feel have been effected by 6 weeks with my gut buddy parasite. It might be obvious...and/or it might not be what we want to see in the moment...but God can and will use some of the most trying of times to change the deepest parts of ourselves.

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