I went through and read my old blog (www.xanga.com/ofcourseiamitalian) and my old day planner. Normally not a bad idea, either of these things, but it made my heart a little sad. I read through the days leading up to my departure to Mexico and the days following my arrival. And it made me sad. It made me sad to remember who I was during that time, and it made me sad to remember Mexico.
I have changed in countless ways since September 10, 2005. The person who got on the airplane that day never came home from Mexico, instead I did. I suppose it is safe to say that who I am today is better, healthier, more mature in my faith, however I am still grieving that other girl a little. Perhaps it is the stage of life that I miss. College was fun on so many levels, but my favorite part was doing ministry my senior year. I loved sharing my faith on campus and helping new believers grow in their faith. My confidence was in the Lord and I knew where I fit in to life. In Mexico my faith was shaken as I lived in this new world, with new people. I could no longer rely on coping mechanisms I knew so well, and I had to cling to the Lord in a new way. Total dependence on Him. It is good for me, but difficult to learn. I would even call it painful at times.
I think I was also troubled by the faith that I had then compared to the faith I have now. That summer I appeared to be full of faith. I was confident that the Lord would provide, I was learning things constantly from Him, and my hope was set on things above. What has changed? I still trust, I still learn, and yet things are different.
I am learning a lot lately about myself. One of those things is that I like to run from everything emotional or feelings oriented. I don't like to admit I have feelings, good or bad, or that something has effected me. I put on a happy face and push past it. Perhaps that is what my "faith" was last summer. (As a disclaimer, this is not a well thought out theory, just some rambling.) What if I was really just running from fear that the Lord wouldn't provide, fear that He wasn't real, sadness and discouragement about support? What if my way of escaping those feelings was to convince the world and then myself that I had faith the Lord would provide?
In that case, what am I longing for when I look back at that time in my life? Am I truly desiring the "faith" I had then, or is my heart longing for the freedom to cover up life? Maybe the second is true. During this time that I am realizing I run from emotions, I am also realizing that I have a lot underneath it all. There is a lot of hurt, confusion, pain, anger, and wounds that have never been dealt with. So, perhaps what I long for is the ability to sweep it all under the rug as I did before, and call it faith. That's what the girl who went to Mexico would do. But the girl who came home knows that only leads to death. I want to face it all, but I will do so with the freedom to feel grief over what has been.