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Pessimism

Note: This post was written on July 30th, but I am just now able to publish it online. I am feeling more hopeful again, but I thought I should share a very real part of my journey.

If you were to ask me whether I am a pessimist or an optimist, I would say that I tend to be more optimistic. However, I have started to notice over the past few days that I am feeling more negative than usual, and after thinking about it and mentioning it to a couple of my friends, I think I have found the source of my negativity.

For the first time since I started researching mission groups about a year ago, I think that there is a good chance that I won’t be able to go.

Before I go any further, I want to clarify a few things. Nothing has been officially cancelled. My latest update was that the Salesians are still trying to plan a date for orientation and for a placement in Bolivia.

But I have begun to doubt that it will happen. From the snippets of news that I have heard, Covid-19 cases in the United States continue to rise. In fact, when I went online out of curiosity to see what things looked like in the world because people kept asking me what Covid is like in Bolivia, it learned that the United States is, in fact, considered a hotspot in the world. Many (if not most) countries in the world are currently not allowing U.S. citizens to enter their countries because of the situation here in the States. I’m just not sure that I believe things will be better in November. And even if it is better here in the United States, what’s to say the country I am supposed to go to won’t be in crisis at that time?

I have to admit, thinking about not going on mission is making me sad. Really sad. Crying sad, which I know means something to my roommates and family. I am not much of a crier, but I am not ashamed to admit that there are some tears. For those of you who talked to me over the course of the past year, I think you could tell how excited I was to be going abroad to help people. I had an entire year to ponder it and let the excitement build, and now it looks like my hopes from the past year are slowly slipping away.

I know that God has a plan for all of this. I know he wanted me to say yes to mission work last year. I know that if he wants it to happen, it will. I also know that if it doesn’t happen, God still has a plan for me. But I am still sad and upset. To be honest, I don’t want to go through the struggles of discerning the “what next” if mission work doesn’t happen. The easiest solution is to assume that his plan is for me to do mission work next year or whenever foreign mission work is possible again, but there has to be an “in the meantime” at very least. And I have no idea what that might be for me.

This brings me to the next item that has me feeling so down. Over the past few days, I have developed a feeling of ennui (an excellent word that means a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement). Right now, I am living almost in a state of limbo, a limbo that I was fine with for a few months but has started to drag on me. I don’t want to put myself in a place of permanence yet because I may have to leave for 3 weeks for orientation and then leave the country before the end of the year. I could find a full time job that I love, but then I might have to leave it in a few months. I could find a place of my own, but most rentals make you sign a year’s lease, which makes things complicated if you might leave the country in a few months.

I am tired of living out of a suitcase, of sleeping in a bed that isn’t mine. I am tired of sewing projects and watering the garden. I am tired of lacking a sense of purpose and direction. I am tired of not having my friends near me to talk to and journey with. The only thing that I am not tired of is spending time with my family.

I guess that what I am trying to say with all of this is that I need prayers. Please pray that God’s will be done in my life, and that if his will is that I do not go abroad this year, I may know what it is he is asking of me instead or in the meantime.

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