mental download from Kiev

sometimes, I battle regret. fiercely. usually I'm pretty confident in my decisions once they've been made. I've grown in receiving grace & walking away from my mistakes once I own them. I don't second-guess my actions much anymore, I don't reply conversations wishing I'd said differently.
but today...aiy aiy. 

today has been good. so beautiful this morning. answered prayer in quiet time with Abi's Hebrews recommendation. but so...painful. the sharp healing cut of God's Word. revealing. good hurt, like ripping off a bandaid to find the wound is healing but still stings. 

this morning I had a revelation I wish I'd had the first week. so simple! so clear as I was praying. if I'd taken more time alone--truly alone, still--before God I would have seen it sooner. how could I be so blind?! how proud I have been. how grasping of good things that seemed pure. but I forgot in all my praying to submit. I forgot how to actually   release worry, fear, desire, weakness. how to let go and mean it. for whatever reason, God met me this morning. & I realized that's what has been past missing. not just in Ukraine, but my life the past few months. it's been bothering me the whole trip. something was not right, but I could never find it. I always felt a little off, a little not my full self. maybe it's partly why I felt I could never get to the end of myself? all my giving was not enough. it killed me. there was still so much of me that I hadn't given to God & therefore couldn't give away. I tried to figure it out. I read scripture. but. somehow I never reached that place of bittersweet surrender until this morning. I was so familiar with the peace of letting go last year. last summer my normal thought process was giving things to Jesus & walking away with such joy & peace. i used to identify the root of struggles and wrestle to be honest, til I could freely walk away. somehow I forgot how to do this...
how i wish i had! how much better this month could have been. I rest in God's forgiveness. I feel no condemnation, He didn't waste my time here. I know He works through broken vessels. But I also know there is missed opportunity. I could have been used more. Christ could have shone much brighter through me. my will & fears got in the way. I wish I could relive this month! even the 4 days I thought I wouldn't make it, the hard parts. but I can't. so I will just take this lesson to heart. 

my time in Ukraine has been so beautiful. so much brighter than expected. great camps. children with open hearts & love & goodness. such a generous team! I had precious evenings with dear Liliya & Kolya & Elizabeth. how funny that the 2 I especially felt connected to last year would be the ones I spent the most deep & real time with this year. so kind of God to work that way. I've come to know Dana, & she's not just a woman I respect but also now a friend i love. I could go on and on...
I made the wrong decision to not stay all summer. I know nobody from home can understand...its not because I don't love or miss people from home. it's not that Ukraine is more important--not at all! it's not that I don't care, dont want hugs & American food with my loved ones. but. i'm not finished. sending the team off to Kharkiv tonight aches in my throat. I should be going! there are so many plot twists within hearts & lives that I want to watch unfold. there are stories I need to hear from the HFO team, & a few words i need to say. there are kids from last year that need to see i came back. ah. but I made the decision I thought was right. can't change it. 

I do sooo love my family. cannot wait to see them. & I want all the time with Abi I can have before she embarks on her IJM adventure. so it will be good, once I am home.

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