04 September, 2009


I was talking to a friend last night and she asked me how I was doing. I told her the truth, and now I've decided to tell you so you can be praying for me...

Here is an excerpt from an email I sent to another friend recently:

Have you ever read Eat. Pray. Love.? If not you should – it's amazing. A woman takes off for Italy, India and Indonesia for a year following her divorce. She spends four months in each place and documents her experience in each country. The entire book, more than a travel journal, is one woman's quest to find herself and who she is. In Indonesia she is sitting in a villa and calls forth her pains – one by one – to be acknowledged, addressed and settled.

Is it bad to admit that is part of what I hope to do here? T. asked me what I hoped to get out of this time. I thought about it for a bit and realized that is it. I am over the moon to be in Rwanda and to be with our sister church and to experience life with them, and to work on the education project. But more than that I am looking forward to quiet, to dealing with my past and to coming to terms with who I am vs. who I want to be.

Talking to A. she said that we project who we want to be to others – and that if we believe something about ourselves, more fully based on an awareness of who He made us to be, that is who we will tell others we are.

I don't like who I am. I don't find value in this person. Subconsciously I show that to others by not caring about my appearance (which I always hide behind not wanting to bolster superficiality, or just attribute to laziness) and being quiet (something I equate with feeling safe). But there is more to it than that.

T. said everyone feels insignificant – but picked up on one thing I said in the course of our conversation: If I weren't sitting here would anything be different? I live with the conclusion of no, it wouldn't be. And that is the basis of how I see my worth. So try as I might be funny or outgoing or open and loving – if I always start from the basis of I am less than or not worth it – well, you can see where the problems start.

I want to find my worth in God. I do. I want to be redeemed because He made me and in that, called me by name, and holds me as His beloved. See I can say all of it and I know it's true, I just can't get it to sink in.

Please be praying for me in this. It's going to be really hard. I think I have lived with the demon of insignificance and ugliness for so long that I don't know how to conquer it. I can call my pain up by name, I can say look at the ranch where I was told to be silent, that I didn't matter, that it was never about me, to just serve others, or school where pain occurred, or college where I was so angry and hurt and alone and, even now, missed chances at relationship or joy because I am scared and living with the chains of I have no worth. I am ugly. I am not worth the attention.

But I know God wants to free me from this – and I want to be freed. I don't want to live like this – I don't want to see myself this way. I don't want to be so easily intimidated by someone else, by groups, by conversation that my mind literally goes blank and all I can think about is how I don't fit. ...

My friend gave me a phrase: God put me here. God put me here in Rwanda for a purpose. And this is the desert, and I am waiting for Him. Am I Hagar waiting for a promise? Dying to find my worth, told I have none, I am just a servant? Crying, hearing the one thing He gave me cry and die beneath the bushes? At bit over dramatic maybe, but metaphorically it's how I feel. I am Hagar, I am Gomer. That is how I see myself...

A Hillsong song plays in my head:

"This is my prayer in the desert when all else within me feels dry. This is my prayer of the hunger in my, my God is the God who provides. This is my prayer in the fire, in weakness and trial and pain. There is a faith proved of more worth than gold. So refine me Lord through the flames. I will bring praise, I will bring praise. No weapon forged against me shall remain. I will rejoice, I will declare: God is my victory and He is here.

"This is my prayer in the battle, when triumph is still on its way. I am a conquer and coheir with Christ. So firm on His promise I stand. I will bring praise, I will bring praise. No weapon forged against me shall remain. I will rejoice, I will declare" God is my victory and He is here. All of my, in every season, you are still God, I have a reason to sing. I have a reason to worship.

"This is my prayer in the harvest, when favor and providence flow. I know I'm filled to be emptied again. The seed I've received I will sow."

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© Amanda Lunday