It’s a bad day, and I have a problem.
Yes, the bathroom works.
Yes, the water runs.
Yes I have air conditioning…in only one room of the house, but still. I have air conditioning.
Yes I have Internet. It’s more moody than a junior high female alone on Valentine’s Day, but it works sometimes.
None of these things are the problem.
The problem is that I don’t want to leave Manila. I’d like to see my family at Christmas and work like a slave for Because of the Times…but other than that…I don’t want to leave Manila.
I have another problem. I fear for the first person that asks me in December, “I bet you’re so glad to be back home huh?” Why is this a problem? Because Alexandria is not home anymore. Home is where the heart is, and my heart has been eternally split in half.
I have another problem, and that is, how am I going to keep composure and patience and rationale and class when some of the people I am closest to complain about drama that won’t last in 30 years or 30 days?
How am I going to be able to keep composure and compassion for these people when the only faces running through my mind will be my students that don’t know if their sponsors are going to come through for their tuition and money to eat with?
How am I going to keep my composure in a worship service when people are casually worshipping, restricted by who’s who and what they have on when I’ve watched Filipino’s with ABSOLUTELY NOTHING kneel in the floor for hours until you could see their reflection off of the puddle that formed below them with their tears. I’m not exaggerating one bit.
How did I keep my composure when I returned to America in 2009? I didn’t. I didn’t at all. And it was bad.
My friendships suffered. My relationships suffered. I was on another wavelength and refused to meet anyone in the middle. I hated America’s selfishness, I hated the American ways- I hated everything about it.
Jerry Dean made a profound (to me at least) statement at Camp meeting 2009. He said he was flying home from Manila and prayed “God, please do not let me blame the congregation for what they have not seen and experienced.”
I adopted that prayer pretty quickly.
Without America, the end time revival could not be funded. Simple as that. Hating America was and is not the answer.
Hating people for their “half-hearted” worship based on my opinion was judgmental. It was wrong on my part.
I have no idea what I’m trying to say.
I guess I’m trying to convey how conflicted I am at this point in time. I thought I was over this- I thought I had a great handle on it because I wanted to be here so badly for years. I realized here that I don’t- it will probably be a battle that I will need the ones closest to me to help with. The battle of your heart being ripped in half wanting to be two places at once.
I skim over this blog and apologize for the selfishness and striking honesty that might be confusing to some. There might be some of you that feel the same way- with children and grandchildren living hours/cities/states/or continents away from you- maybe some of you have parents far away- and your heart is ripped in half as well. For whatever reason you have been placed so far away from where “your heart is,” I pray today that God gives you peace that passes all understanding. I truly do. From the bottom of my heart.
I have a problem.
Yes, it will be nice when the Internet is solid and I can update my phone. Yes, it will be nice to drive again and get out and GO whenever I need/want to. That will be oh so nice. It will be nice to dive into some gumbo and chicken and a fountain Dr. Pepper…
But where am I going to find lumpia in the states? What am I going to do when my smile is returned with bitterness at Kroger? Where am I going to find street kids to play with and give extra pesos to? How am I going to refrain from back-handing spoiled rotten kids at camp complaining about the heat and yelling “YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT HEAT IS LIKE UNTIL YOU CAN’T DECIPHER IF WHAT IS ROLLING DOWN YOUR NECK IS SWEAT OR TEARS, YOUNGIN!”
Ok, I’d never yell at a kid and say that. But I hope some of you laughed at that visual.
Where am I going to find cute handkerchiefs and pandesal and pomello and skyflakes? Will I even need a handkerchief in air-conditioned church and padded seats? What is cold weather EVEN GOING TO FEEL LIKE when I feel it again?
These may not be problems to you, but these are PROBLEMS to me.
What am I going to do when a typhoon or strong floods slam Manila and I’m 10,000 miles away from my students and kids? How will I protect them? How will I sleep knowing that they are stranded on their roof and their precious items they have treasured for so long are probably ruined? How will I help them when they have a fever because of the mosquitoes that the storms bring?
What about Mark? And Eliaza and Eliel and Ruel and Japhet and Lexi from the Coffeebean House and Jing and Jose and little Mark and Reecie and Glenda and RJ from Kenny Roger’s Restaurant...you may not know these people but I know them. What about them? I can’t just leave them!
It’s a problem.
What about Dexter the street kid that I met today and gave 5 pesos to? What about him? Who is going to smile at him and take his hand and hug him tight and say “Mahal Kita (I love you)…”
The tables have turned. I thought I could come over here with an understanding of “just 5 months.” A lot of people made the comment on my way out of America, “Kendra this will be so good for you to get out of your system.”
The self-control I exercised in those moments- the half cannot even be told.
I can’t get it “out of my system.” I can’t just return home and resume life thinking “oh that was such a great time, hope I get to go back one day.”
Nope. I’m ruined. I told you, people, I have a problem.
I have a big problem.
I hope none of this has offended anyone. Forgive the raw honesty if it did offend, please. It was not my intention at all.
The purpose was only to inform you, that….
….I have a problem.