Can you believe I’ve been back home in Kenya for almost 3 months now? That’s so crazy to me. Time is flying!
Lots have happened since I’ve returned and lots have stayed the same. Jesus is still good. He’s still hangin out up there on the throne and down here with us at the same time. You know, the usual. My daughters are alive and well and just as crazy as ever. I’m sittin here like, “when is my next Honey Nut Cheerios shipment coming in?”. The prostitutes are prostituting. The preachers are preaching. The missionaries are…. missioning? So yeah, everything is pretty much the same here in Mtwapa. Except the fact that apparently, i’m crazy now.
I know what most of you are thinking, at least those of you who know me. “Brittanie, you were already crazy”. I know, I know. But I always thought that my craziness was kind of a secret. Like, before I thought that what I did would be big enough to cover my craziness. So I used my “identity” as an actress to cover up my crazy. “I’m not crazy, I’m an artist”, i’d say to myself. Hey, all good artists are crazy anyway right? Then I tried to use my age as a cover up for my crazy. Back then I thought, “Hey, I’m 21 years old. I’m not crazy. I just have more shots of tequila in me than brain cells”. Hey, all 21 year olds are crazy anyway right? But then both of those phases of my life past and so I tried to use my habitual hopping between two continents as an excuse. At that point it got more aggressive. “Shut up! You’d be crazy too if your life and your heart and your work were divided between two continents!!!” I shouted in defense to my own accusatory “you are crazy” thoughts. But then that phase of my life passed too. And then we reached the point of about 3 years ago when I fell in love with Jesus. “YES!!” I thought, “Jesus is DEFINITELY big enough to cover up my crazy!!!” Well friends, I’ve got some bad news. I love Jesus, but i’m still crazy. The only thing is that now, everyone knows it. (WARNING to all secretly crazy people who may potentially fall in love with Jesus in the near future: even if you love Jesus you can still be crazy)
No, but seriously. What i’m saying is, like most people in the world, I had some pretty messed up crap happen to me when I was a kid. Problems that I help girls here work through are anything but foreign to me. But the thing is, according to all the real Christians and all the real missionaries, those things have made me crazy. So crazy in fact that I need to go to rehab or what real Christians call “a season of inner healing” or “time alone with Jesus” or “a season to be poured into with out having to pour out” or any other really loving Christiany phrase that has the word “season” or “Jesus” in it. Christians are really good at loving and coming up with gorgeous sounding phrases. I really need to step my phrase game up.
Basically the thing is, my daughters are survivors of sexual abuse and they need me to help them walk through the process of healing and recovery from that trauma. The thing is, I never walked through a process of healing and recovery from my trauma, so that’s where it gets sticky. I need to do that first.
The other thing is that I kind of became a mom of 6 basically overnight. I wasn’t expecting that. So apparently that whole thing also kind of traumatized me. And, my own mother is amazing. But there are lots of things I just have never had the courage to bring up to her and work through with her and so those wounds are affecting the way I parent my own children. So, in order to be a better mother I need to work through those things with my own mother and in my own heart with my Jesus.
Speaking of my Jesus and my heart, I experienced a bit of heartbreak a few weeks ago. Our oldest girl decided to leave home and go back to her old life. It felt like having one of your limbs cut off. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t talk to anyone. It was so painful. I felt like such a failure. I felt like it was my fault. But I know all of those were just feelings. I can’t take responsibility for her actions. I did the best I could to lead her down a better path. The truth is that i’m not the savior. Jesus is. I can’t save these girls. Only He can. So I have just put her in His hands, where she belongs and i’m trusting Him to continue to pursue her and be her Perfect Mother.
All of these things I’ve been writing about are just reminders of how dependent on Him I really am. I don’t know how some people do it. This work that we do, to be honest, it’s so hard. I literally can not make it through five minutes of the day without asking for His help, without talking to him or leaning into His heart. It’s also complicated for me because I was working in Africa before I knew what a missionary was. I was just helping people because I knew it was the right thing to do. But now, you add on this “missionary” title and it just adds a whole new component to life like Christian girl rehab, and real Christians who you feel so inadequate around, and failure that involves life or death, and having to deal with all of your own junk in order to do a good job. It makes me crazy! And that’s the problem in the first place!
I feel very Amy Winehouse about it all. I dont want to go to Christian girl rehab. And i’m afraid to deal with my own crap and I’m freaked out because my leadership has told me that they want to hire a married Kenyan couple to move into the house with us and help us take care of the girls. Big red button of insecurity! Then what will I be needed here for? Gahhhh thats ugly! And the more ugliness I see in myself the more convinced I am that they are right and I do need Christian girl rehab which really pisses me off and makes me want to lock myself in my room and eat cheerios but I can’t because I finished my last stash which causes me to lean into Jesus’ heart and bury my face in His neck and then all of a sudden everything is ok and if Christian girl rehab is really what I need then sign me up.
Like, I said I knew I was crazy the whole time anyway.