Is it normal to have meltdowns when you’re 30? Please say yes.
In the past week I have had three. And as I type this, I am laughing because as much as it feels like such a big deal in the moment, it’s really not that big of a deal. The thing is, these little meltdowns never really involve people – I am surrounded by the nicest and kindest people and they greet me with so much love everyday. What gets to me is just some of the day to day stuff where my responses usually look like this: “ok, that’s fine, that’s no problem” and then it just hits me. A mixture of no power, heat and humidity, traffic, late nights/early mornings, and saying “yes” to too much too quickly is what usually sets me off.
I’ve been thinking a lot about convenience lately. As much as I love Zambia, the people, the work – it is the convenience of life in Canada that I miss. It’s those simple things I miss like having power all the time, running into a store quickly to grab something, getting coffee at Starbucks…you know, those things that make life seem so much easier. But maybe God is not calling me to a life where I can get everything I need as quickly as running into Walmart. Maybe I need to wait on Him and let HIM provide the things that I need.
I had been working on a painting for a Village of Hope project. I was excited to do it as I love anything art related. The thing is, I gave myself such a small time frame to complete it and basically spent two full days working away. My goal was to be finished by late afternoon on Sunday because there would be no power in the evening and it would be dark by 6. At 7pm, I was still working on it with my lantern in hand. It was hot, I had my doors closed because there were too many bugs, and I was painting in the dark. I already wasn’t too happy. I also knew that I had a bunch of work emails to send out, so I took a break from painting to do that. I then realized I had basically run out of data. I got in my car and quickly drove down the street to the guy who is always there to sell data, but he wasn’t there. I drove to the next spot where there was always a guy – he wasn’t there. I knew I still had that painting to finish, I had to send out emails, I couldn’t find any one to buy data from and I was just so hot and tired. I drove to a gas station and in tears said “do you sell data here?” The poor lady looked so concerned. Meltdown number 1.
I take a Thyroid medication daily, and have been for years. Yesterday when I went to take it, I noticed that the pills had a really bad smell. Had they always smelled like this? Did they just go bad? I still had 4 months worth of pills to take, how could they be expired already? All these thoughts started running through my head. If I was home, I could just quickly see my doctor and he would write me a new prescription. Thankfully, my mom is the best and takes care of me from far away. She went to the pharmacist and then texted me saying “throw them out!” Because of how hot it has been here, they had gone bad because of the moisture of the humidity. She ordered me a new prescription and thankfully there are visitors from Canada coming next week who will bring it for me. I just didn’t know what I would do for a week of not taking them until the visitors arrived. The pharmacist had told her that I would probably just feel very tired and sluggish, and that there was nothing I could really do until I got my new prescription. Earlier that day I had prayed for wisdom. I wasn’t sure if it was really bad or not that I had no pills for the week, and I even googled to see if it was really that bad to take pills that had been spoiled. Later that day I suddenly remembered that I had kept a bunch of those pills in a separate container that I would bring with me for short trips. I found them in a cupboard in my room – there was no smell at all, they were completely fine – and there were exactly 7. God is so good, and He provided exactly what I needed. I kept trying to remind myself of what God had done during the rest of my day, but things started to build up again. No fuel, no power, long days, AND thinking about those pills going bad – not thinking about how God had provided the amount I needed, or the fact that the visitors would bring my prescription in a week, but getting worked up about the fact that I am living in a place that is so hot that even my stinkin’ medication had gone bad. Meltdown number 2.
And then there was this morning. I didn’t sleep well, and I really didn’t feel like driving into the village again to teach. It had been such a busy week and all I wanted to do was sleep and not have to talk to anyone. Meltdown number 3.
Oh man, I know, I am such a complainer. It gets better, I promise.
As I ate my breakfast and frantically just flipped through my Bible to find SOMETHING, just something that would be my fuel for the day, I landed on this:
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in Him.’ The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” Lamentations 3: 22-25
Yes, there may be difficult days, but I can recall to mind all that He has done for me, and His steadfast love for me – and that will give me hope.
He is my daily portion and I can stop searching for other things to satisfy – and that will give me peace.
Waiting on Him and seeking Him helps me to trust Him more – and that will give me joy.
I didn’t drive to the village feeling super happy and ready to start the day, but between meditating on those verses and listening to Chris Tomlin’s ‘Good, Good Father” on repeat for my 40 minute drive, I was certain that God would me be my strength today. Reminding myself that it takes action to recall to our minds how faithful God is. It takes action to stop searching for other things to satisfy us, and it takes action to wait on Him and trust in Him. Sure, I can look at all of the annoying things that happen day to day and dwell on that, or I can choose to see those things and be assured that my God is greater than all of the crazy that takes place – that He is my helper and none of us have to face these days on our own.