Sunday, May 15, 2011

I'm Not Tough

The heat is tremendous. I don't feel like moving. The sweat crinkles the page I'm writing on, glistens on my skin, and trickles into my eye. The salt burns my eyes. I need to forget about the heat and go work. It crosses my mind to complain. I need to be tough.
I'm not tough.

My hand shakes as I pick up the IV. The tiny hand seems swallowed up by mine. I grip it for dear life and squint at the faint trace of a vein. The baby whimpers and tries to pull away. I look at the IV catheter and then at the thread of a vein. It’s impossible. I don't want to miss again. I don't want to make the baby cry again. I miss again and give it over to another nurse. I should have been tough and tried again.
I'm not tough.

I somehow I think I should always work overtime, be cooking native food, be fluent in all languages and an expert at IV's. Instead, I don't want to go back to the hospital, don't feel like eating bouille again, don't particularly enjoy IV's, and just want to speak English. A missionary is supposed to be tough.
I'm not tough.
I'm weak.

To admit weakness is thought by some to be strong and admirable. But then there are weaknesses that are embarrassing. They don't boost the pride. They are the weaknesses you'd rather others not know—weaknesses that show your imperfections and fears. They are painful to admit, but they are God's workmen to make you strong in the strength of the Lord.

In the strength of the Lord I often forget about the temperature. In the strength of the Lord I hit veins, miss veins, and keep trying. In the strength of the Lord I keep going back to work every day and find blessing in service. In the strength of the Lord I actually enjoy bouille and do a little more language learning every day. It’s all in the strength of the Lord.

Without that strength I am yet another complaining, pansy volunteer who couldn't cut it. With that strength I am more than a conqueror through Christ who loves me.


shama said...

Keep receiving strength from the Lord. I'm praying for you!

Caitlin said...

Encouraged by your words.
Thank you!