Upon my arrival in Australia I realized that I was tired. Thanks to my thyroid/iron issues, being tired is no new feeling. This was another sort of tired.
Not just tired-from-a-long-journey tired. But tired to the bone, tired in every fiber of my being, tired from fundraising having taken seven times longer than I’d planned. Tired from trying to convince, persuade, and cajole others to see my point of view, to understand why I believe my ministry is valuable for God’s kingdom, to care as much as I do about the fact that human slavery exists in the world we live in. (Which, by the way, is probably the wrong perspective to have. More on that another time.) Going from that to the stress of a missing passport (For all those who have asked or want to ask, no, the old passport was never found…but at least now I have a shiny new one!) to more unnecessary stresses at headquarters then suddenly —– I’m in Australia! —– has been a wild ride. I’m grateful for all of it, past stress included, but after finding a gray hair on my head this morning I do wonder how many years it took off my life.
So for the past three months it’s been easy to make the HOPE61 work more about the motions of what I know needs to happen than the driving passion of my heart. Even that new kind of passion I talked about before I left the States. I know what needs to be done, and I am capable of doing it. But doing it out of a passionate place in my heart? More difficult these past few months.
My other responsibilities have helped to get my mojo back. When HOPE61-related things are slow or this lingering tiredness gets in the way I can turn to editing, proofreading, social media, or event planning. They are tasks I did for OMS Australia my first year here and are now assigned to me more officially. There is always something to do. Still, it seems sad to be missing the very driving force that pushed me to return here in the first place.
One thing I feel has been going especially well is my focus on the main point of my being here. It’s to love God. I learned that lesson almost two years ago and have been constantly reminding myself of it.
On Sunday the church I attend invited Coralie, an activist from the group Collective Shout, to share. I won’t go into the story here, but remember Tyler, the Creator & the 2013 debacle? History is making a concerted effort to repeat itself.
Coralie spoke about the prevalence of domestic abuse in modern Australia, the extreme sexual harassment & threats she’s received for opposing the normalization of sexual violence in music, and her continued resolve. As she spoke and I thought of the perseverance of people like William Wilberforce, I felt God lift the long tiredness from me. No more brief infusions of passion and a struggle to keep their heads above the waters of an old exhaustion. I’ve got my groove back.
Even in that moment I was sure to remind myself that I’m here to love God, first of all. There will be other days that I become tired again, but if my relationship with God is my first priority then ministry here or anywhere is sustainable. Without Him I am bound to burn out permanently.
I’m so grateful that I can reconnect the knowledge in my head with the passion in my heart!
Signing off now to dive back into work – minus all that inner tired.