The truth we’re too scared to share

 

I just read a Facebook post of a missionary to Iraq. I stumbled upon his page and the bigger vision he supports back in the beginning of December.
In a matter of 2 or 3 days, I stumbled upon missionaries active in Iraq, Burma & Kurdistan.
That same week I was trying to keep up with the inhumane conditions in Syria and the people there. My heart was breaking & I felt utterly helpless but wanted to help so badly.
I would share posts of what was going on b/c I was sure 99% of my friends on Facebook were utterly unaware.

Now, I hardly ever share news & world events. I honestly don’t keep up with news & happenings unless there’s one story or video that grabs onto a ventricle of my heart & I can’t ignore it.
Imagine that– someone grabbing a ventricle of your heart. That figurative hand is stopping your heart from functioning properly and you FEEL the effects immediately. You are immediately affected. You can’t ignore the hand, b/c if you do, you’ll die!
If there’s an article or video or story that grabs my ventricle, I have to do something about it. I will read more. Educate myself more.
I will probably share the article or video b/c I FELT something.

I think so often we scroll through our Facebook feeds, or selectively read what news we want. (Don’t worry, I too am guilty of this)
There’s so much choice & mediums of information, we can literally go through a day without FEELING anything.
I can go through a day deciding that I want to only find things that make me laugh, so I will only FEEL light.
Maybe I don’t want to FEEL discouraged or helpless, so I purposefully won’t read or watch the news.

What is that?
Are we too scared to SEE reality? Are we too scared that if we are exposed to the reality of something other than the one I am creating for myself right now, that I will actually FEEL something and I will have to DO something about it?

I swear- since I’ve come back from my “world tour” (as some people have called it) people will only ask me the superficial questions. The ones that don’t make them FEEL anything but good. By people I mean people that aren’t willing to ask how I’m really doing. People that are my relatives or acquaintances from church.
These people tip-toe around and frolick in the field that makes them FEEL good.

I have become so angry at the American church. Yes. Angry. At the American church. I admit it! I’m guilty. 🙋🏼 Judge me all you want, criticise me, think what you will. Tell me I’m wrong. But let me tell you more first, okay?
Let me expound on why I FEEL angry.

One of the most difficult things I had to come back to in America-materialism, consumerism. The constant messages of “buy this new product,” “you need this vacuum because it sucks 10x better than our lady model,” “make your life easier with laundry detergent that does all the work for you.”
Seriously? Like, that is what Americans are so consumed & concerned about? Stuff. Clothing. Makeup. “Make your eyelashes longer & sexier.” Cars. Phones. Televisions.

Oh but Andrea you came home just before Christmas when those commercials and adds are at the highest & most advertised.
Okay, make the excuses all you want. Are you denying American culture revolves around STUFF? Are you trying to make this argument so you can avoid the topic of its influence in your life?
It’s okay! This is where you live! This is your culture. Admit it.
I admit, not proudly, this is the culture I live it. It’s where I come from.
THANKFULLY I have new eyesight & can SEE it. I’m not denying its existence and influence in my life. (I just got an upgraded iPhone b/c I could get a discounted new phone. I am not exempt, okay?)
Look, I’m not here to slap you in the face or punish you for living where you do, if in fact you do call yourself an American.
I’m not here to generalise and say that “all Americans are so freaking self centered and you all suck, get your heads into a different worldview.”
I’m not here to tell you that I hate all of you and wish I was never born in America.

I’m here to say- HEY WAKE UP! FEEL something!!! FEEL angry! FEEL helpless!! FEEL something! FEEL something for the nations & world outside your own!

I’m not giving you the right to complain about the government.
I’m not giving you the right to be upset with your family.
I’m not giving you the right to argue simply to argue.

I’m saying- have the GUTS to look somewhere difficult.
Have the GUTS to consider “what would it FEEL like if I was born & living in Iraq? What would my thinking be if I were a Christian in Morocco? How would I SEE people if I were a refugee?”
Have the GUTS to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

But Andrea I am not passionate about the world like you are.
I’m not telling you to be passionate about the world.
I’m begging you to see the world from a different perspective than solely your own.
I’m begging you to BE HUMAN.

Why are so many people afraid to travel? Let me be more transparent and honest in my real question… why are so many AMERICANS afraid to travel? Why are CHRISTIANS afraid to travel? Not to any western country in Europe or the exotic, sexy tropical places were you can relax and have a restful time.

Why are CHRISTIANS afraid to travel? Why are Christians afraid of the Middle East? Why are CHRISTIANS afraid of Muslims?
Why are CHRISTIANS afraid of Arab people?
Why are CHRISTIANS critical, judgemental and weary of people- just like you and me- from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Pakistan, anywhere?!
Are we afraid that if we meet them, we will be WRONG about our ideas of them?
Are we afraid that we are wrong about the world?
Are we too scared that we’ll be found out as fakes? Hoaxs?
Are we afraid of being found out & exposed to who we really are?

Or are we just too afraid that we have feelings we’re not sure what to do with and we don’t have a solution?

FEAR.
Stop letting fear rule you.
Isn’t there a verse in the Christian Bible about not letting fear rule you…

Are we afraid we will SEE & FEEL the brokenness of the world? Are we afraid b/c we won’t have a solution?
I’m not asking you to FIX the world! I’m not asking you to have all the solutions or even just one solution.
We live in a broken world. Systems will be screwed up.
But be brave enough, have the guts to feel something. Don’t be indifferent to anything that doesn’t affect you personally.
Just because it doesn’t affect you doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant.
People are relevant.
People are human.
You are human.
You have feelings.

WHEN you travel, IF you travel, people won’t ask you to come fix their broken worlds.
People will invite you into their homes. People will want to share stories with you. People want to eat with you. People want to hear your stories.
People want to be human.
So be human.

//
Back to the original post on my Facebook feed that started this… He was talking about Christians that are persecuted 100% of the time in 21 countries.
He listed those countries.
Guess what? Those countries are not in Western Europe. The list didn’t include Australia or Canada.
The countries are those countries Christians don’t talk about casually. Why not?
Have the guts to educate yourself. Have the guts to read stories from these places. Have the GUTS to feel something other than “it doesn’t pertain to me.”

The 21 countries:: North Korea, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Eritrea, Libya, Nigeria, Maldives, Saudi Arabia, India, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Kenya, Turkmenistan, Qatar, Egypt.

The original post:: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1400543909980428&id=322728757761954&ref=bookmarks

// I know not everyone falls into the generalisation I made of Americans & Christians. //

// Comment. Thoughts? What are you FEELING from this post?

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words for the year

With the new number of another new year, it’s a chance to refocus.
It’s a chance to re-evaluate, take a look at yourself, set goals, & set values back in their rightful spot.
I usually get excited about adventures & dreams. Those are the typical words I focus on. I’ll make some journal pages for adventures I want to go on & dreams I want to see become reality.

Sometimes I feel one word sticking out in my mind; I’ve seen many friends & strangers do this. But I usually approach the one word with less excitement & usually don’t come up with one. I feel focusing on one word is ignoring other areas that need attention not neglecting.

Today, however, I wrote three words I want to re-incorporate into my daily life.

 

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Lately, I’ve felt my daily life lacking in these values.
I would use all three of them to describe the kind of life I want and the kind of person I want to be, but lately my thoughts, emotions & feelings have outweighed these characteristics.

//

This past weekend, I got to visit a friend I hadn’t seen in over a year.
We’re both in the same boat of figuring out life after being abroad and what we want, so we met up for a weekend of fun. I expressed how much I need fun & fun is difficult when my friends are hundreds & thousands of miles away.
So fun is what we had.

I was outside of what my day-to-day has been the past month. I felt more hopeful. I laughed all weekend. We played games & I really had fun. Friends have that amazing quality to bring hope & fun into life. 🙂
The weekend was intentional. I had driven miles to visit and would only have until Sunday to have fun. We had to be intentional.

I would use all three words to describe the weekend, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence those three words came to my mind again today.

//
Can I let you in on a secret?

. . . . . . . . .

I don’t know what I’m doing.
I don’t have my life figured out.
I don’t have my emotions and feelings in order (they seem to be all over the place). Myself & my life feels pretty messy & disorganized. (Thanks Papa, you started this messy undoing last January. You’re taking my life that I’ve tried to keep as neat boxes and told me to get out of the box. I’m learning mess is okay. Let’s unpack the boxes and go through the stuff.mthrow out what is not healthy. That’s an entirely other post)
Do you feel me?
Is anyone else in this season of life? Coming from an adventure, having to figure out what your life is now, readjusting, refocusing, asking yourself what you want.
Anyone?

Well, I know that I’m not alone in this season. I want you to know you’re not alone in this season.

Now, if you have your life figured out, have a vision you’re moving toward, I commend you. Tell me, how did you figure it out? What was your journey like to get there?

If you feel you’re moving but don’t know where, I would suggest taking time to write down and answer, “what do I want?” Self discovery is a continual journey. I’m only 28, but I feel like as soon as I discover something about myself, I discover something else. It’s a continual self discovery journey.
It’s a journey that takes time. Time we often rush through in the instant gratification culture of the West we live in.

Can I share one more secret?
I discovered there’s people on the other side of the world not rushing through life. They value time. They taught me (through my impatience and frustration) to slow down. They value people. They value relationship. They are less task oriented and more people oriented. Maybe this is partially the reason my brain has been firing slower since I got back to the States. Haha!

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What are your words you want to describe yourself and your world this year?

Take time to ask and answer What do I want? Let the answering be frustrating if it is. Let it be painful. Let it be exciting. Go big baby! You’re worth it.