there's still a lot to be done in our short time left here. we've got an awesome group this week & we still have a couple days left with them. this weekend we'll be working on saying our goodbyes to community members & church congregations. then next week it's one last hurrah for our final week of youth before packing up our site on friday & saturday. oh, and did i mention the end of summer paperwork? there sure is plenty of it. as with everything this summer, it's funny how that week and a half can seem so short & so long all at once.
- it feels short in the time i have left to spend with the staff team here--my new family! soon we'll be scattered across the country again
- it feels long when my alarm goes off at 6-something every morning
- it feels short when i think about going to Swan Quarter Baptist for the last time this Sunday
- it feels long when i look at the pile of evaluations and information packets and building checklist forms and inventory lists and...
- it feels short when i look back on how far we've come this summer
but time will go on as it always does. this may be one of our hardest weeks of the summer & we're already past the halfway point! (wednesdays are our favorite days, too--pasta dinner, church at SQB, and of course, my time off & chance to blog!) this week is hard because we've come to the end of our strength & are so close to crossing the finish line...but we've still got one left. we've still got to do it all one more time. it seems that the general consensus among the staff is that we're doing okay mentally & emotionally--we can make it in that sense. but it's so weird when your body starts rebelling--from the lack of sleep & exercise, from the weird diet, from being pushed to the extremes of what it can handle. so we get headaches & our eyes beg to be closed & our stomachs hurt--but yet we press onwards. we want to continue giving our all to the participants coming in & to the community here & to each other, but it's so hard when physically you've reached your limit.
Yet God is a God of strength. He does not grow tired or weary. In Isaiah 40 He promises to give strength to the weak & weary--the strength to keep running the race, such that we'll fly on wings like eagles. Every morning I wake up with a prayer for the strength to make it through the day--it's actually pretty amazing to know that you're not making it from sunrise to far past sunset on any of your own ability. i'm solely running by the power of Christ in me--this body, this person called Whitney has nothing left, it's empty. but that's the God we serve--He demands everything but He gives everything. the tough part is figuring out that we can survive on what God gives and not just what we think we need. That we can live outside our comfort zones & away from our families/friends & everything familiar, and go 11 hard, long weeks without much sleep, and still come out praising His name. I got angry at God a little bit there in the middle of the summer--angry at Him for demanding so much. But I'm here to say that I'm still in this. Jesus, I'm in. I'm ready to run the race set before me. This summer has been an uphill climb on that race of my life--but I know the light & momentary troubles & struggles are achieving an eternal glory--lives have been changed over the course of this summer, including my own. I'm so thankful that this job in this place with these people was set apart for me & that God would ever look my way & choose me to be His instrument. I am a broken one that still needs a lifetime of reshaping & molding, but I am in His hands.
We're not quite done yet--and your prayers would still be greatly appreciated! All my love <3