Mission Trip Recap: Return to Reality

Last week Evan and I had the best privilege of serving & leading with a group of 7th & 8th graders. We teach their Sunday school class every week, and getting to spend an entire week with them felt, dare I say, dreamy. 1. Because it has been about 4.5 years since Evan & I have been away from our kids for more than a day or two (aka, first time for us ever). 2. I got to spend a week without 6 tiny hands demanding my every need. 3. Watching students love each other, love people they don’t know, serve, get closer to God…it’s so worth it.

Today is the first real day back to routine and back to reality.

I had one hard day while we were gone where I lost my cool. I ugly cried in front of my teenagers and our site coordinator because I missed my kids, and the reality of where we were serving hit me hard. We were spending our time at the Victim Resource Center, a safe place for victims of domestic violence. Two of the kids we were going to spend our day with had just fled their home the night before, spending the night in a tent somewhere. It’s one of those situations where words seem to fail in every way.

Things got real for me.

Here’s the thing: when my worst day arrives, and my kids are making me crazy, my writing feels like trying to walk through brick walls, everything seems useless, those two little kids who fled their home in the middle of the night would’ve traded anything for my worst day. Their worst day bypass my own by miles. Little kids who deserve the greatest love, care, joy, and the hope for a good day only have a lot of hard, confusing days ahead of them.

It gets real. It brings forth the perspective I should have from day one.

Today I turn back to my reality. My semi-boring life, but how blessed I am that it is so boring. That my worst days surpass the best of those who aren’t so lucky.

So as I’m resisting the urge to shout at my boys who have somehow acquired extra whiny attitudes on this hot and muggy Monday, rest with me in the realization that we are so lucky. We are so privileged. Mission trips have a marvelous way of reminding us of our blessings. Let it be so that we continue to serve in powerful ways right here at our doorsteps.

Published by Janelle Delagrange

Wife to a graphic designer, mom to three young boys, and writer of the soul.

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