the process of closure

I’ve woken up today feeling extremely sad, angry, and disappointed again at how things ended on the ship. Why?

Yesterday, I read so many updates about the ship, looked at all the volunteer opportunities, read up on so many different ways to support the work, I ended up dreaming I was there, on the ship, hiding because they told me I had to stay away for at least a year and only 3 months have gone by. I woke up feeling relieved because it was only a dream.

Now I’m faced again with feeling angry and disappointed by the way I was brushed aside as too troubled for them to figure out how to help, misunderstood in a sea of cultures that we were all supposed to try to understand and support. Where was my support? Why was I expected to understand the other cultures, but not receive the same in return? It’s not right and it’s not fair.

I’ve had a very long, challenging work week. Maybe I should chalk it up to being tired?

I want this to be done. I don’t want to be angry or sad or disappointed or disillusioned anymore. I don’t want to feel like this. I just want it to stop now.

Today, I began reading a book about making the transition from missions to life at home. It’s for both long term and short term missionaries. The author is Peter Jordan, a missionary kid and missionary. Right off the bat, he talks about having closure in order to move on.

Every returning missionary should come to the place where regardless of the circumstance, he recognizes his return as God’s will for him, and God’s way of leading him into a new passage in his life.

I know I need to let this anger go. I know it was God’s plan for me to come home. I know I need to forgive because I’ve been forgiven. Which begs the question, who am I really angry at? Who am I really sinning against by hanging onto this?

Amazingly, despite all he endured as he diligently sought to serve the Lord Jesus, Paul summed things up this way: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, italics mine). If you have to leave the mission field because of circumstances beyond your control, embrace the truth of this verse. God is at work, regardless of your circumstance, and he will be faithful to you. You must recognize that fact in your life lest you be overcome with disappointment and bitterness about leaving. If left unchecked, that disappointment and bitterness will mock your every attempt to adjust to life back home.

I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to begin this book? I downloaded it months ago. I don’t even remember how I found it? What I do know is my disappointment and bitterness are mocking me right now. It needs to stop. I need to dig in and deal with this head on and stop hiding from it.

It’s time for closure. I don’t want this to carry on one minute longer.

His… Michelle
Philippians1:20

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8 thoughts on “the process of closure

  1. Hi, Micey!

    I’m glad you found that book and that it is ministering to you so wonderfully! I think my favorite part of Romans 8:28 are the verses that surround it and give it fuller context:

    “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” (Romans 8:26-30 ESV)

    In every circumstance, the Spirit is praying for you (even as Jesus also is at the right hand of God’s throne interceding for you) and things are working in such a way as to make you more and more conformed into the image of Christ, for he who began a good work in you will bring it to its ultimate completion. Amazing, isn’t it? We know He suffered much, and in many injustices – though He was sinless and we yet are still so sinful – but in His bearing them, He won our redemption. I am convinced that He is preparing you as well, graciously and lovingly growing you in grace so that you can minister more effectively in whatever situation you are in day to day. What a wonderful Savior!

    If I may share this, one of my favorite books that has been very helpful to me is Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands (People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change) by Paul David Tripp. Many good helps there.

    May God bless you richly as you continue to walk in Him. Happy Lord’s Day!

    Barbara

      • You are so welcome, my sister! πŸ™‚ At church, on Sunday mornings when we affirm our faith, sometimes we use the first question from the Heidelberg Catechism, which is just so heartening I cut it out and pasted it to the inside of my Bible. It reads,

        Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?

        A. That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.

        (Scripture proofs here.

  2. I’m glad you’re reading that book in addition to the Scriptures. If you can master that truth in your time of transition, you will move forward into the next part of your journey in Christ. And don’t forget, in addition you do need some physical rest. Be a bit more easy on yourself. Let down a bit. I remember a song from long ago titled, “Disappointment, His Appointment”. God uses everything, joy and sorrow, even disappointment and misunderstanding, to keep us humble and trusting Him.

  3. Micey, I wish I knew what to say right now. I’ve never been in your shoes, but I’ve definitely been in those situations without closure, feeling angry and bitter at having been unjustly rejected.

    My pastor gave a very fascinating message on The Beattitudes yesterday that was unlike any I’d heard before. He said “blessed” came from the Greek word “eulogio” (I think I’m spelling that close to correctly) which meant “set apart,” which would have been interpreted as “ready to be used by God.”

    Then he read all of the Beattitudes as “You’re ready to be used by God when you’re at the end of your rope… When you’ve lost everything that mattered to you…” etc. It was amazing and totally transformed my thinking. Micey, you’re ready to be used by God. He’s healing you right now and helping you let go of the anger so you can comfort those as you’ve been comforted and so you can step forward with Him.

    I hope you have a blessed week.

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