I like to think I was a faithful woman who was angry and passionate about the spiritual corruption in that place.
That place that all of my life I loved with all of my heart.
I like to think that very love fueled my passion for hearts to change. Its like the CS Lewis quote from A Grief Observed, "The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That is the deal."
As the sands of the hourglass fall, as I take long walks with only my thoughts, as I watch light change upon mountain peaks and valleys, as I sit quietly crying or aggressively expressing the confusion in my soul, I like to think I was a faithful woman who was angry and passionate about the spiritual corruption in that place.
I don't know though, it was a terribly confusing experience.
Certainly I know that any person who is heavily involved with people in highly stressful encounters of problem solving, conflict or substantial spiritual leadership will understand what it means to be drained.
Certainly, in someone else's life, I could see that moving to a commune and living, working, serving side by side in every regard with no break and no home to retreat to, no regular rhythms for personal family life, for 8 months, would qualify as a situation of problem solving.
Certainly I could see that realizing you are not loved in that place, but rather held at arms distance, and that no matter what you say or do or how many times you bleed out love, service or express desire for reconciliation you are discounted, unmet; certainly I could see that qualifies for conflict.
Certainly I could see in someone else's life that living in such a place and having to be onguard 24/7 to express Truth, share scripture, keep conversation between two lines and live every moment in an intentional display of being an adjective of what you believe would qualify as substantial spiritual leadership. Furthermore, having to engage in repeated, repeated, repeated dialogue with various "leaders" regarding behaviors, attitudes, undealt with and undisciplined recurrent sin and idolatry of tradition, then being met with only resistance rather than repentance, all the while knowing your own family is suffering with your absence, would require a lavish expenditure of inner resources.
But when it is me, it is simply a terribly confusing experience.
Then to return to family life and hear both of your daughters express how they have not had a mother for months and how one can not expect to return to life as one knew it, or to them as they were once known. Well…
The supply of passion within my inner spirit is not inexhaustible. It can and will be depleted. It has been.
I have awoken to the extreme inner stress of exhaustion of spirit.
It is difficult to describe what the encounters at Camp, on the heels of such a long season of desperate struggle here, have taken out of me. I am foul of mood.
Certainly there were moments of joy, which I tried to write of each and every time they occurred. Certainly my heart met some who inspired and encouraged me in deep and rich ways. But there was more pain with certain staff than I am able to share. More duplistic behavior than I could tolerate. I constantly felt I was bringing a message that few wanted to hear. Doug says I did everything that I could. I actually agree, but why was it not enough?
In the past days I have sent declarations to my mother, sister and dearest friends. I have expressed my "I don't want to do it anymore" attitude. I have searched my mind on how to go before the Lord with what is in my heart - mimicking word for word Job in cursing the day I was born, mimicking Elijah saying, "It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life." (I Kings 19:3-4). Yet I wake anew. My story has not yet ended.
What will it take for me to be in something of a better mental condition? To get on with the restoration of my spiritual passion?
I am drained. I have given out everything in these past months; nothing is left.
I believed that place was something that it was not, as every consumer does.
Is there anyone that hasn't had a version of my same experience? Nothing is new under the sun, I read.
I know that one can not do work of a spiritual nature without energy going out of them. Jesus Himself felt it acutely when a woman reached out and touched Him.
Different from Jesus though, in my drained condition I feel caught up in a sea of feelings that run counter to all the facts. I have strong senses of self-doubt and extreme negativism. I retrace all possible minor and major errors and exaggerate them until anything positive I may have contributed is wiped away like the words on the chalkboards on which I wrote. I have become ultra critical of myself and, of course, of others. I am convinced I was only a fool there and nothing I said or did will be remembered or implemented. Was it all for nothing?
This drained state leaves me in a mood generating thoughts of quitting all that once mattered most. I question whether my usefulness is over. I find none of the resolve I once knew, none of the commitment.
After giving out everything to the crowd, there is now deep isolation.
It was a terribly confusing experience.