It has been a rough week. In some ways a horrible week. A lot of reasons and from a lot of different angles. I’m feeling the sting of many waves beating hard against my spirit this Friday afternoon. Investing in people is really hard work. Helping children deal with their heart wounds is awful because there are parts of their stories that I wish we didn’t have to help them travel through. I like to say it is heart hard work. I’ve quit heart hard work when I was a younger professional. I walked away. Raised up the white flag and said, “I quit”. Something always drew me back, though, to this work, to His work. To all the wonderfulness, pain, and joy of helping others.
Somewhere along the journey, if you are to last in the work of helping others, you learn to put up boundaries and to guard your heart a bit more. You make sure you guard against bitterness and anger because that is just as harmful and dangerous as being hurt by caring and doing too much. You learn to balance the painful realities with the hope of a better tomorrow. I guess you learn to trust Him more with all the wounds that you cannot fix or change. You learn how to fight without getting too bloodied and you learn to rest when wounds get too deep. You learn that sometimes your helping causes more hurting and the consequences of choices have to be felt and not prevented.
You find other helpers along the way and you ask for their help to prop you up. Incredibly, without asking, other helpers show up without asking, with jars of m & m s, bags of Starbursts, kind words, funny e-mails, teasing that makes you laugh, along with compliments, and empathy. Others simply let you talk it out. They listen. They agree. They speak up and support. They go for long walks with you. They give hugs and you are grateful. You slowly become appreciative, once again, for the opportunity to make a difference in the life of another. Thankful that you belong to a community of helpers so that you once again can find your footing, pick up your head and feet, and get back to the work that He has called you to do. Finally, wearily, but willingly, casting all that worries, burdens, and bogs us down into the hands of a caring God who asked us to hand them over. This time heart healed and beating strongly. Ready to start again.