Monday, November 7, 2011

Step by Step

I had wanted one more thing - to be able to tell someone in our mission group the basics of what happened.  To alert them to the fact that we need some system that works, something so that no one faces silence in trauma again.  But now I was able to say it without the weight of unshed tears.  I got my chance that evening while watching a football game with one of the leaders.  It only took five minutes and was said without pain behind it, but it was good to say that.  To say, "hey, can we do better next time."  To also be able to say, "It was special to meet this one man this afternoon."

Then we left.  God still wasn't done yet.  He had a few little meetings up His sleeve.  On the way home, we stopped at some friends.  They had to leave their country for some visa issues, so we invited them to stay with us.  They work now in pre-sending member care, and what they have set up is interesting.  They run a whole program of inner healing and some other things I don't know yet.... but they are in member care, having been on the front lines and realizing that we can't send wounded workers out, provide them with little support, and expect good results.

But first we had a conference with another group.  This one was interesting for me... I don't know these people well at all, but hold them in respect.  We were asked to come and report to the leaders of their group at a anniversary conference.  We went, and it was meeting after meetings.  Interesting, but I am a little shy and feel awkward, so to be surrounded by strangers can be uncomfortable.  You know what the common advice is in high school speech class?  "Just imagine them all in their underwear." (Why that would make me more comfortable, I never could figure out!)  But late that first night, we got almost that chance.  The hotel we were staying at had a fire alarm set off, so at midnight, we all assembled downstairs... most of these people who had looked so dignified earlier were in their pajamas with whatever they could grab thrown over.  I had fun admiring all their different pjs, but was thankful that I am a night owl and was still dressed!

In this conference, they asked me to speak to what it was like on the family.  Honestly, no one had ever asked that before, so I had to think.  Later, several came up to thank me for sharing, and three wanted to hear the rest of the story.  It was good to tell it to women who could relate to some degree and were willing to listen.  But then, one of those sat with me later and heard the story of the difficult conflict that happened at our team debriefing.  God has people He chooses for specific things, and this was His timing.  It was a relief to say what had happened to someone who knew well the situation and people types involved.  She was not only able to hear me, but to understand, and then at the end, she offered me a chance of something to do.

I had been feeling helpless.  It is hard to solve a conflict with some people.  This one is simply too busy to slow down, probably unaware of the pain he caused because he is largely unaware of people's emotions and how his actions affect others.  He is single-minded and narrow-focused, so he doesn't see people at all unless he needs them. I doubt he will ever see what he did or how his action hurt both of us.  So there will likely be no solving it.  For my personality type, that is difficult.  I like to solve conflicts - whatever it takes, let's tackle it and solve it.  So I had felt helpless and frustrated.  This woman who listened gave me an option of something to do.  She volunteered to do it with me.  It was a really good idea.  I will do it.  I felt immediately relieved... sort of like hitting that wall in labor where they say you can finally push (sorry, hoping mostly moms are reading this - you will know what I mean!) - where the awful pain of enduring can be changed to the pain of doing something, and that something may bring an end to it all.  I didn't do it then because I still needed a few more steps, but I could see God was leading me there step by step.

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