Friday, August 16, 2013

What To Think

Orientation. It has begun, and with it so many other things have begun as well. 

When we arrived on Wednesday I felt all feelings and none, all at the same time. There is no other way to describe it. It was all and nothing all at once. 

Words. I have none. There are so many that I want to put on this page, and yet there are none that seem to want to flow coherently.

Luckily there are many wise people here to support all of us in this difficult roller coastery whirl of a week right before we fly out. 

The staff, the Alumni team, and the current YAGM participants have been very helpful in conversations and giving language. We all have felt or are feeling everything and have many different words that we need to describe and articulate where we are at. 

  • The first piece that I liked was a conversation about feelings. When do we stop feeling all the feelings, and do they ever go away? The response from a very wise alumni was do you want to stop feeling all those things? And I think that is accurate. It is hard to articulate with words (and even sometimes with gestures) the emotions and feelings that are dwelling within ourselves as we prepare, but I don't think we always have to. And when we are overwhelmed with sixteen different feelings all at the same time, that is also okay and good. We should and get to sit with that. 
  • Another piece of language that ties in with all that we are feeling and experiencing is 'grace space'. Someone during orientation coined it and many of us have begun to use it and dwell with it. This is space that we should give ourselves, space to be gentle with ourselves, to give ourselves grace. 
  • Seasons. Another term that I had not heard of before this. We talked about how other people sometimes can view our year as differently than what we think it is. It is nothing different than a different season in our lives, a new place, a new community, a changing of the seasons to experience new life.
  • Which was a piece of this grand conversation that I loved and have been dwelling with. Language is very important and can alter what we mean. So we have been challenged to remove "I" and "My" from the title of our year. (Bear with me as I try to put this into correct words that articulate what I want). When we think about this year, we can be tempted to think in terms of "my year," "the service I did," etc. But it is not. We even discussed that it is not even YAGM that we should replace it with, but God. We are responding to what we feel that God wants us to do. We are living out God's service and His will. 
All of these are bits and pieces that we have been discussing and sharing with each other to understand more fully who we are and what we are called to do. We are missionaries. We ALL are missionaries (me, the other YAGM, and you. Yes, even you reading this right now). A missionary is someone who is responding to God's call and looking to live that out in their life. We, the YAGM, are just responding to a call.  

1 comment:

  1. Elle - I'm so glad you have such wonderful mentors as you prepare to go to forth. A whole year of learning, teaching, and sharing. The "Grace Space" will be so important. Time to discern all that you are seeing and doing. I found out the name Thohoyandou means "head of the elephant" in the Venda language so I will wear my elephant head bracelet daily as a reminder of you and your mission. My daily prayers will include you as you go forth in the power of the Holy Spirit and the strength of our Lord Jesus Christ, for the glory of God. Love you Elle, Grandma XOXOXO