[title unknown]

recently, i told you about the decision i’ve made to transition out of full-time missions in Liberia and consequently transition back to full-time life in the States. i also recently shared some of the difficulties i’ve been facing here in Liberia, all of which resulted in an epic unraveling.

i have continued to struggle in every way here in Liberia. physically, i’m exhausted. i’m sick of being sick and tired of being tired. i sleep fitfully most nights and can’t seem to keep my energy levels up during the day. emotionally, i’m drained. i’ve given everything i had in these last four years, and i am empty + raw + tender + bruised. my time in Liberia, rewarding and beautiful and life-changing as it’s been, has also been filled with grief, loss and tears, so many tears. it feels as if everything i’ve gone through during my four years here has caught up with me, like i’ve been unknowingly carrying it with me over time, and suddenly it’s all become too heavy, and i can do nothing but collapse under the weight.

so i’m crying mercy. i know i’ve reached my limit and for me to stay would be unhealthy. i leave Liberia in nineteen days, arriving back in the states in twenty. it’s not what i expected, but i know it’s for the best. i need to get healthy and whole again. i need to heal. i need to.

i look back and see that i have done what God sent me to Liberia to do, and i hear Him say i’ve done it well. i look at the kids, healthy and thriving, with happy hearts and dreams for their futures, and i see how much progress they’ve made. i remember where they came from, and i marvel at where they are now. i got to play a part in that. it humbles me and blows my mind, brings me to my knees in teary wonder. i can leave without  regrets; i did what i came here to do. the goodbyes will be heart-wrenching, but there is also a deep peace. it is time–time to go, time to start, time to change.

for now, in these days, i live in the in-between. one season is on the verge of its ending, while the new one has not yet come. i have both hands on the doorknobs, prepared to open as well as close the doors, respectively. i am saying goodbye while also saying hello. i am grieving what was and hoping for what will be. it’s a strange place, this in-between. it’s no longer the past, nor is it the not yet. it’s not yesterday, but it’s not tomorrow either. it simply is.

{i want to wholeheartedly thank all of you for the support and encouragement you’ve shown as i laid my heart bare and have shared my struggles with you. to be so transparent is not easy for me, but i have felt nothing but love from all the comments and emails i’ve received. thank you. thank you. i may still be a mess–but i’m a grateful one.}


One thought on “[title unknown]

  1. Elena, three years post where you are today I am finally experiencing deep healing. I am at rest. With God, my relationships, my place in life, with who I am… There is something about working in Liberia, particularly the city and with orphans, that just takes so much more out of you than you really have to give. You become so terribly depleted as you give 150% to those in such great need. Despite my best efforts to have balance, I simply could not when presented with so many desperate needs. God did give me the strength to do what I needed to do, but by that I mean he gave me the strength to just keep breathing. I left Liberia with so many questions, so many hurts, spiritually and emotionally broken. In many ways I was numb as I didn’t know what to do with some of the things I’d experienced, and I couldn’t stand to think about hurts done to precious little people when it was all so fresh and there was nothing more I could do to try to help.

    But three years later I am healing. I am finding answers. God is showing me he is faithful. I know I may never understand all the whys this side of Heaven, but can trust God with these unknowns. I’m still in the process, but at some point I want to write it all down. Because honestly I never thought I’d recover from what I went through.

    Choose where you want to put down roots, find a good church, get a low-stress job, and even buy a house if that will help you get permanency. A life of continuous transition is not conducive to healing, especially for missionaries working in such difficult environments. Years down the road God will show you the “what next.” For now, rest.

    Please know you can always write or even call me if you just want to talk to someone who truly has been there.

    I am praying for you.

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