Well, I’m not going to Afghanistan. This post wasn’t started as a focus on the Afghanistan trip but I forgot that I left the team-pick decision up in the air, since my last post.

On one hand, of course, I’m relieved. But the decision is somewhat of a let down. I was finally able to set aside my ultimate fear of going to the Middle East and, instead, I placed my love of people in that mental space. I can’t describe how enormously freeing that was/is for me. I took a giant step forward and I was at peace about every single fear I had when thinking about that trip. I know of several other people that applied and they aren’t going either. The size of the group will be small and medically focused. I was encouraged to try again on the next trip and I may just do that. 🙂 During this process I’ve fallen in love with the people of Barek Aub and I hope, one day, to share my life and my love with them.

In the last week, a tremendous, heart-wrenching change has occurred within my family. The family members that I have achingly and sleeplessly spent the last several years reaching out to and helping heal in the midst of one family disaster after another, have turned on me. I called them out on some things and, unknowingly, fusing my call-out with their pride, turned into the most chaotic situation I’ve ever been a part of. With anyone. This situation forced me to change my cell number and the people that are on the safe list at my children’s school. I’ve never been more shocked, upset, sad, and confused with anyone. Ever. This event is tragic to me because I’m being blamed for every single problem they’ve ever had. My character, my honesty, my loyalty and my love are not only being questioned, they’re being utterly trampled on and thrown out, as waste. This situation is extremely hard on me because I’ve spent so many hours, days, weeks, YEARS, agonizing over this family and the pain they’re going through. I’ve spent countless hours watching the children of this family, so the adults could work on their issues. I once drove to Texas to meet the mom, halfway, so I could take her four kids for several days while she sorted through a trauma in her marriage. I have laid down my life for this family and now the adults are forbidding me to ever communicate with them or their children. I am heartbroken. I’ve seen these two adults use their own children as weapons and tools against the other spouse before, but I was never the target. I was never the enemy. Now, I’m not only the enemy, I’m the supposed cause of their years of problems and pain. I’ve never questioned myself and who I am more than in this last week. My character, of which I have spent years building up after self-destructing it as a teenager, is being called out as a fabrication. Everything about myself, that I was so sure I was not, is being thrown in my face as an accusation of who they say I am. I’m doubting myself and everything I believed to be true about who I am as a lover and forgiver and empathizer and healer. In this and through this, I see that the years I’ve spent, being dragged down into the painful depths of insanity of these tragic adults and the restlessness I’ve endured and mental and physical time I’ve spent away from my own sanity and family, to help heal them… has been in vain. I’ve tried to help these two adults that have no desire to be helped. I’ve tried to help their precious children by helping them and I’m finally understanding how fruitless my efforts have been. Because of selfishness, self-indulgence and pride, my labor has been in vain. Adding insult to injury, I’ve now been outcast from their family.

I’m learning to turn to those that surround me, those that know me and love me. I’m learning, remembering, to listen to their voices. For these are the people speaking truth about who I am. The people that love me and appreciate me are the people with hope, faith and love shining in their eyes. These are the people resonating, reverberating, what I know in my head and my heart about who I am as a lover, a life-giver, a forgiven forgiver and one who loves and appreciates all that I have been given and all that has been taken away. I trust that even in this horribly painful pruning process, I am in tender, powerful Hands.