this state of mind

So the last couple of weeks I’ve had this idea that I’m not as okay as I used to be. Nothing’s really wrong as such, but I’m just lacking motivation and energy. I didn’t use to check the clock at work before. I didn’t use to have the urge to just go home and do nothing. I didn’t use to spend this much time online. I didn’t use to think this much about being elsewhere.

I know there is an element of ministry frustration here. I’d wanted to be able to strengthen El Sendero’s ministry more, but it’s been difficult for two main reasons: (1) timetabling – our staffing situation means I’m shifted on at key times where it would’ve made sense to do ministry, and because we don’t own the building we can’t open on Saturdays, which would’ve been a key time for youth ministry; (2) my being a short-termer – so this ministry isn’t my baby, I can’t do anything radical, I don’t have the long-term vision in terms of what direction to take things in, and I’ve found my opinion simply doesn’t matter as much.

But I also know my mood has more to do with the fact that The End is approaching, and my heart seems to have gone ahead of me, dragging my mind along with it. I have a little over three months left here in Ecuador, and only half of that in “active service” (I’ve been told I need a month and a half to transition out and say my goodbyes; other missionaries ignored the advice, worked till their last week, and regretted not having enough time for farewells and easing out of life here).

And I don’t know how I feel about that. I’m convinced it’s the right time to go, that it was right for me to be here all this time but I’m almost sure I won’t be back long-term, with or without the mission. That despite the fact that sometimes I think, “If only I were here another six months or another year …”, particularly in relation to youth ministry at church. I want to make the most of the time I have left, not hold back, particularly on friendships, because that’s a mistake I made before. But I feel my friends here will be the ones doing the holding back, especially the ones who have had experience with other missionaries and foreigners – because they know it all comes to an end, and that’s painful for them too.

I’m making sure I keep socialising, seizing opportunities to hang out with people. I’m working harder to spend more time with God, praying, reading. I’m trying not to think too much. But often I do just feel a little tired of being here.

3 thoughts on “this state of mind

  1. This is a sad place to be, it’s harder than ever to focus on what is and not what could’ve been… the “if i only did…” or “if I only had more…” line of thinking can be very depressing. Good luck and stay strong! Try and stay focused on tangible things of today and not get too distracted by what you did (or didn’t) do yesterday or what you’ll do tomorrow when you return.

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    1. Hi Dustin, thanks so much for your comments, they’re a real encouragement to me. I only just realised I hadn’t replied to you, felt kinda rude about it, and figured, well, better five months late than never! Reeling my mind back in and focusing on today is something I’ve had to do constantly, and in fact, most recently this morning 🙂

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