I went through a really tough year before this placement year, and came out of it feeling scarred and unwilling to open up. But, I know that when I do approach experiences and relationships without reserve I benefit so much more – even if it results in further breaking of my heart.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned over the past few years is that all humans have a huge capacity to give and receive love, and that we are all very good at also causing pain to each other… but, that on the whole, choosing to risk the pain results in greater personal growth and a much more vibrant life.
So, I walked into this placement feeling emotionally numb and drained, and made a conscious choice to live out of a place of love. And it has been amazing – sure, there are hard days, and I am already mourning the coming close of one period of time (my two lovely housemates, Alisha and Brittany, are leaving at the end of the month) – but I am so excited about the continuation of this period of my life. And no, I am not completely healed of my previously broken heart, but as I live love and build the fantastic friendships I have found here, I am finding that my day to day is becoming a lot easier. I feel alive again and it is fabulous!
As much as it seemed easier to close myself off and turn into a hermit to protect my heart and try to heal – I didn't, and I didn’t grow either. I believe that humans are built for relationship – it is so obvious in the incidences of babies passing away when they are neglected and not given love – and I have learned that even grown-ups need that to have a satisfying life. I mean, I knew that, technically, this was true, but as an introvert in the middle of a difficult time, I felt like choosing to limit my human interaction was a better choice. Well. No more – I am officially an advocate of loving even with a broken heart.
Another lesson I have learned this year, through bloggers I follow and sermons I’ve listened to, is that God loves to break my heart – because when I break for the things He breaks for, I become more malleable and open to where He is leading. And that is something I am definitely a fan of.
When I become discouraged and want to pull away and return to my hermit-hole, I remember the wonderful and resilient people I am meeting in the refugee camp, who have been through so much and yet, welcome me with open arms and share their stories and experiences with me. I remember the fellow bloggers who share their hearts on the internet and impact my life. I remember my valiant family members and close friends who continue to pick themselves up (with God’s help) after emotionally and physically destructive experiences, and live life to the fullest in spite of their troubles. I remember the orphans that have been rescued from cribs where they were given barely enough food and comfort to survive, and how they flourish in their families and learn to love and be loved. When I think about the resilience of the human heart that is shown through these people, I throw caution to the wind and jump in with both feet.
On this journey that is blasting my expectations away, and rewriting my perceptions of the world, I am enjoying the roller coaster ride instead of trying to wrest control back into my hands – because when I am in control, I miss out on so many opportunities for growth and love.
So, dear blog readers, know that I love you and am so grateful to have you reading along!
10/11/2013 05:13:46 pm
Wonderful Katie! Just wonderful! I know what hard times and heart breaks feel like and to see you come out of it with such positivity and so much stronger than you started is really encouraging. There will still be days that get you down for sure, but I can't wait to see how you fight for your happiness on those days, because you have the strength and the resilience, just like the people you admire in the refugee camp, to come out of any situation kicking!
Thanks Chels! I miss you too - I loved our late-night hallway chats! I honestly feel like I was born on the wrong continent... but now that I'm here, it's going to be hard to keep me away for any length of time! Hope you are doing well in Nepal! We should have a fb or skype chat sometime soon girl!
14/11/2013 12:32:52 am
I really love this post. You are so articulate, brutally honest, and you exude hope. A much needed reminder for so many of us that there is light, even when we cannot see it. Thank you for sharing your faith journey.
Thanks Julie! I am blushing now! :) It is one of my goals this year to share honestly what is happening here on placement and in my life - I am sick of masks, and I also feel that it will provide future classmates going on placement with a better understanding of what to expect.
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Welcome! My name is Katiana and I am a development professional pursuing my dream to live out Isaiah 1:17 to the best of my abilities. I am passionate about teaching and working with vulnerable families and children to improve their lives sustainably.
This blog is composed of my personal opinions, which do not necessarily reflect the opinion or views of institutions or organizations that I may be or have been affiliated with.