I returned from Guatemala a week ago. The trip was amazing! We served 900 patients over five clinic days. All eleven of us contracted some sort of intestinal bug and no, we didn't drink the water. It is just one of those things that can happen when visiting the third world.
Interestingly enough, I wasn't depressed while on the trip. There were times that I was lonely, sad, angry, tired, sick, nervous, or afraid, but most of the time I had a sense of peace and purpose. I missed my family immensely, and was ready to see them about half way through the nine day trip, but never felt depressed.
Since coming home, I've been having a great deal of fibromyalgia pain, fatigue, and of course, there is that tummy issue and my period. Any of those alone can cause the dark cloud to come, so I guess it makes sense that I was down. Also, culture shock took its toll too. I am thankful that my lungs seem to be very happy, so breathing has not been a problem.
I demanded very little of myself and kids this week. We stayed up late, slept even later, and lazied around the house. I managed to take the kids to the library on Thursday and that was an accomplishment!
Taking the kids to the library on Thursday was good, but I really enjoyed Friday morning. I was wasting away on the computer when a dear friend messaged me. We chatted for a few minutes, then she asked if I could watch her kids while she visited another friend in need. I agreed.
I believe it was good for everyone. The kids had a blast playing sardines (reverse hid and seek)and I loaded the dishwasher, fed the kids, and mopped my kitchen floor. Midst all of the kid noise, I realized that I was happiest I had been since being home from Guatemala. For the most part, I wasn't directly interacting with the kids (except for occasionally instructing them to not hide in the laundry pile), but I was content knowing that my friend was able to help someone else because her kids were with me.
My friend picked up her kids just as I was ready to take my two older kids to gymnastics and dance class. During class, my little one and I went grocery shopping. Somehow, I had loads of time left over after the shopping trip. I decided to go to Dairy Queen for snacks before picking up the kids. BIG MISTAKE!
I ordered three strawberry sundaes for the kids, and a banana split for myself. Really, all I wanted was a banana and a scoop of ice cream, but that isn't on the menu. In case you didn't know, a banana split from DQ is HUGE. Yes, I knew when I ordered it that it was too much. When I started eating it I knew it was too much. Half-way through eating it I knew that I was already too full. I finished the thing and was miserable. I tried to reason that at least the banana was healthy. Ha!
Why do I do that?! I know what is right. I don't want to do what is wrong. But I do it anyway...every single time. Sound familiar (Romans 7)?
This morning at church the sermon was about Joseph and how he was a dreamer (Genesis 37). He dreamed fantastic, unrealistic dreams, and they came true. As he spoke, I looked down at the colorful, handmade Guatemalan skirt I was wearing. I remembered the woman who made and sold it to me. Then I thought of how she and her mother commented on the size of my belly in Spanish when they were showing me how to wear the skirt. I don't like being fat.
The pastor challenged us to dream like him and trust that God can make those dreams come true. Here it is--I'm dreaming that God will use me to serve others, thus lifting me from my pit of depression, and that he will heal me of my addiction to overeating, thus lifting me from my pit of obesity, guilt, and shame.
So, I find myself again at Step Two: We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:13