Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Thoughts and finding purpose...

These past several days have been quite challenging in a mental/intellectual sense.

There is so much that I have to do, so many changes that are occurring, and so many people who have been helpful to me... it's all been very overwhelming. I appreciate the help, of course, but it also makes me question whether it's all worth it. People have been bending over backwards to help me, and I can't help but question... Why did I decide to move here? Why couldn't I have just stayed in the States and kept things simple? Was this a selfish move on my part? Is it ok that I put other people through these hassles? Is this really where I'm supposed to be?

I've also been reading a book that my dear mother gave me called "Captivating"... it's the womens version of "Wild at Heart." This has also brought some issues to the surface and made me re-evaluate certain perspectives I've adapted over the past several years.

So many questions... so little time.

Purpose... that's always the primary question, though, hmm?

Only starting yesterday have things begun to make sense... I've begun to understand, in a more concrete and tangible way, why I'm here. Sure, I'm here because I love the German culture and way of life, moving back here and nailing down the language is on my to-do list, I was ready for a change and a challenge, I want to prove to myself that I can do this... but ultimately, these personal reasons and ideas simply arent enough... there's got to be something more significant.

I feel I've finally hit a fork in the road of life, in spiritual sense and purpose-sense, and I need to make a decision. A decision I've been procrastinating making for the past couple of years: should I move forward or give up? No more of this pathetic mediocrity. I'm sick of it.

It's not often that you get such an opportunity... an opportunity to start completely from scratch, and be whoever you want to be. No one here knows my history, what I've been through, who I am. Other than the stereotypes people have of Americans, I pretty much have a tabula rosa at this point. I can do whatever I want and be whoever I want. Which is both refreshing and (thunder bolts and lightning, very very) frightening.

Honestly, my major fear about moving over here was that I would slip into permanent spiritual apathy, that I would simply give up. Several things have happened in the past several months that have made me question my faith... this, coupled with a spiritually dead country has a lethal potential.

Since yesterday, though, things have started to make sense in my mind. I think I might even be here for a reason. Why am I here, in this tiny town, as opposed to Berlin, where I wanted to be? Maybe because there are people here I can help and encourage. Why was I unable to find an appartment in Moers, the city most people recommended I live in? Maybe because I need to live in Neukirchen-Vluyn instead, closer to the little church I found and closer to work.

I was speaking with Bizarro-Mom, who helped me find a little appartment in Neukirchen-Vluyn (hopefully I'll be moving in on the fifteenth of October), yesterday, and that conversation was a turning point in my mind. Right now, there are several younger people and single people in the church and they don't really have a place to meet and do Bible Studies and such. Some of them meet at the church, but Bizarro was saying how she thinks it'd be great to have a place off-campus where we could meet... namely, my new place. :) When I first saw the appartment, the first thing I noticed was how guest-friendly it is, and how I'd love to have a group of people from church, co-workers, family or friends (yes, any of you are welcome anytime... I'm moving in on the 15th, so anytime after then!) come visit.

I was also thinking that it might be fun to go through the Doulos material with a group of people... I don't think they've done anything like that here. For those of you who don't know, Doulos is a Bible study I did in college that really changed my view of life and how I approach studying the Bible (as well as other books)... it's very practical and applicable. I actually met another girl who's my age (well, a year older) at the church, and I'm thinking that we might be able to team up and lead something. We shall see.

All this to say... things are starting to come together and make sense. Slowly, but surely.

Why, you might ask, have I posted this drawn-out personal post? There are several reasons:

1. If one of my friends posted something like this, I'd be interested and want to read it and know what was going on.

2. I know that many of you are sending prayers and positive thoughts my way (I'm doing likewise!).

3. I want people to know that it's normal (and even ok) to struggle.

Lyric of the day: "You and me... we're in this together... can't you see... one on one forever..." (thanks to Apoptygma Berzerk)

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Dad said...

Very cool, Mary. Thanks for the encouragement!

Mary said...

Sure. :) Progress is being made and things are starting to make sense...