NOTE: Just a reminder that this blog is, essentially, my journal. It gets personal at times.
I went out with the missionaries yesterday and had a blast. Sure, most of the people we tried to visit weren't, you know, home, but it brought me back to the good old days of my mission, even briefly. I was struck by how I don't really feel like I fit in either life now, mission or being home. I'm certainly not a full-time missionary anymore, but neither am I fully in the world. Somewhere in between.
I was driving to institute shortly after I and the missionaries parted ways. I was listening to the radio, particularly that one song with Eminem about monsters under the bed. I was sitting there, trying to determine if the song had any personal relevance to me, something I often do with works of art. Then, it hit me.
I turned off the radio to think.
When I first can back from Jamaica, I was a very soft person, tender, even, in the relationships I'd helped form. As time has gone on, however, I have found myself growing more and more hard, less forgiving, more easily frustrated. When once I would have easily forgiven another for their trespass, and even sought forgiveness myself, that is no longer my first instinct. In trying to determine why that was, I guessed it began when I recently experienced a cold realization that I was being manipulated. My tender nature has been smashed repeatedly since my return, which only raised my callousness.
As I sat in the institute parking lot, my car no longer running, the curb providing me a seat, I recognized I was holding grudges I needed to let go. I recognized I was fearing new relationships for more heartache, closing myself away from others in the precise manner I'd found so annoying in recent past times.
I asked Father for forgiveness, and for strength to know and then act in the way Christ would in my slippery social predicaments. My current instinct is to show no mercy, to give on on those I love. But I know that's not what He would do. And even if I wind up betrayed and alone in a dreary wilderness, at least I will find happiness in doing the best thing.
I walked into institute, still struggling, but more prepared for the next step.