I want to tell them how I could be back in the US where there is always electricity and running water and AC when its hot and heat when it’s cold and I’d probably have a better chance of meeting the husband that they continually pester me about not having. The injustice! How dare they treat me like this when I have ‘given up so much’ to be here with them!
Like it was something that I did to be privy to all those great things. Like I deserve them. Like it was something I earned to be born in a country of great wealth instead of a country decimated by war.
Shame on me.
I didn’t realize it but I think deep down I have this sense of entitlement. I know that I am lucky and so blessed to have the life I do. And although I realize it is a gift, I think down I my heart I believe in some capacity that I have a right to it. But none of it is owed to me. In the same way these girls don’t deserve the lots they’ve been given in life–extreme poverty, abuse, rape, HIV+ mothers, I don’t deserve the grace I’ve been given. To even try to explain what I am ‘sacrificing’ to be here would be saying that they should be grateful for my very presence. And that is just ridiculous. My life is of no more value than another’s.
A lot of the thoughts and frustrations I have lately make me feel like a parent. Why don’t they listen? Why can’t they just trust that I know better? Why are they so LOUD? Why can’t they give me a moment to myself? How do they always know where to find me? Why do they need everything that very moment? Auuhggghh. So each day holds so much frustration. And I am so tired. I keep reminding myself that they are kids. I think a common sentiment is that parenting is a thankless job. So though I am not a parent, I am acting here as teacher/foster parent so I feel like I can relate a little bit.
It is a nice idea to think that all the people we help can see our heart and our sacrifice and really appreciate who we are and what we are doing. But I think that is rarely the case. And sometimes, like here, in response people can be outright rude, mean, and glaringly ungrateful.
But there are enough moments of sweetness that far outweigh the frustrations. Is this how parents feel too? Like when I walked out first thing in the morning to get a cup of tea and unprompted one of the little ones looks at me and exclaims, “Aunty, you is bootiful!” Or when they pitch in a help me do something with no benefit to themselves. Or run up and give me a hug. Or when one of them gets really excited about learning to make beautiful things. Or when they actually listen and respect something that I’ve said.
So we keep doing good because that is what He commands. We trust that He who promised is faithful and we wait for our reward in glory. While this still isn’t a city I see myself settling long term and I am struggling a bit with my living situation, I am still pinching myself about this opportunity and how it pretty much fell into my lap. He is so good.
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self controlled upright and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the great appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” Titus 2:11-14