Grace in Hardships

” ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ ” 

2 Corinthians 12:9a

This verse rings so true for me lately. The next few months are going to be very trying time for me. Summer camps in Zako, family affairs in the States, mental exhaustion, and preparing for the CELTA course I’m taking in August. It’s all converging at one time and I’m really tempted to shut down, hunker down with some Netflix and tune out the stress.

Summer camps are a lot of fun. I’ve never been longer than a week each time I volunteered, but they were the most bonding and memorable experiences I’ve ever had with Proem. Especially my first, full-fledged camp two years ago (Fishart). I co-lead a singing workshop for the first time and had the privilege of watching my girls perform in the talent show. And leading warm up worship dances from our kids’ ministry with my team for the whole camp was so incredible. Not to say that it’s always fun times. We worked hard, rushed to be on-time, and cleaned A LOT (one of the perks of being a big group – kitchen duty). But you see the results of your time and effort in the faces of the kids around you. Nothing but smiles.

This summer will be a bit harder for me. My grandmother’s health is failing quickly. She’d been diagnosed with cancer about two or three years ago, and when the treatments made her feel worse, she decided to just manage the pain. At 94 years old, surgery isn’t really an option. So, the past two weeks, my mom has kept me updated. It’s times like this that I find really hard being away from family. My mom assures me things are okay, that they’re managing fine, but I still wish I was able to do more than pray.

So likely, I am going back home earlier than August-September. Probably June-July, which means I’ll miss out on camps. The other complication is the CELTA which takes place in August. I can’t miss any of the course days over the four-week period, so I’m committed to being back in Poland for that. It comes with it’s own challenge: refreshing my English grammar knowledge, pre-reading before the course, and a pre-course task I have to finish before I start. I’ll have to do some of this while I’m home, of course, but I also want to be available to my family to help with closing affairs and such.

The mental exhaustion comes from the end-of-the-school-year burn-out. The kids are done. The teachers are done. But there’s still a month and a half left. Ugh. My dating relationship is entering a new phase as well where I’m learning a lot about myself (some bad habits have come to light) and him, and where our needs converge well, but where some things need work too. And I realize more and more the importance of counseling and therapy when you’ve gone through a major life change like moving your world half-way around the globe and enduring culture adjustments. I’ve prayed and studied Scripture more this year than I think I have in my entire life. Not a bad thing at all, but there are times when you just need to talk out some things with a professional too.

All this to say, relying on the grace of God is my refuge. I feel so weak some days, where it just seems like I’m stuck or there’s nothing I can do, and praying feels useless. Thank God for Jesus and the power he grants me to still take everyday afresh, and not allow the heavy waves to sink the ship. I struggle not to worry about the next months, the year ahead, but I remember God’s faithfulness and blessings thus far and really try to hold onto the verse in Philippians 4:6-7 about how to handle that anxiety. It’s helped me carry on and I know it’ll all be well in Him. Amen.

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