October 1, 2010


Sometimes I wonder about myself. I really do. I wonder what is wrong with me. IS there something wrong with me?  I just don't know sometimes...

I was reminded again as I've been perusing Bloggers in Argentina, the "Ex-pats in Buenos Aires" part, that everyone else seems to have a great time in Argentina but me. They LOVE Buenos Aires. I just don't get it. What is wrong with me? I can't stand the place. It's true.

I can't STAND Buenos Aires.

I don't ever want to go there again as long as I live. Seriously. Just the thought of it makes me anxious, and angry, all at the same time - a horrible feeling. My chest has been tight all week. I feel like my heart is in a vice. Memories of being robbed, assaulted, shoot-outs, my baby and I almost being run over by buses, suffering I prefer not to remember - are what comes to mind when I think of the year and a half we lived there. And the three other times I visited, single, then married with children. I never had a good time there. I just didn't. Call me crazy.

So I've been thinking about this. Why? Why me, Lord? Why do I have such a lousy time in BA and all these ex-pats seem to have so much fun and just couldn't imagine living anywhere else? They miss it when they leave.

Not me.

I'd really rather shoot myself in the foot than go there.

But maybe I ask myself the wrong question. Because I don't think there is anything wrong with me. Nothing major. I mean, I've been extremely giving and self-sacrificial in spite of my own personal feelings about the place. When we lived there I was always visiting Tony's family, even by myself when he was at work so my son could have a relationship with them. I am not totally selfish, after all. Do you know what it's like to drag a 30 pound one year old on a bus, a train, and then another bus in 100 degree heat no air conditioning to spend the whole day doing nothing but baby-sitting where you are uncomfortable, only to turn around and do it again, just to get home 12 hours later? Time after time? I dragged my kids halfway across the world five years ago for a whole month so they could see and meet their relatives. I did it for my husband who really wanted us to go. No one has any clue what kind of sacrifice that was for me. It was work. It was not a "vacation" nor was it fun (at least for me). I got my first migraine on that trip.

The other day I was talking to my sister-in-law on the phone and one of the first things she asked me is, "So, are you fat or skinny?". AHHHHH! Who CARES? I said fat. (Although I am not.). Here I'm skinny. But, in the land of anorexia, everyone is fat. I know I will hear about how fat I am. It's a cultural obsession in a country that leads the world in anorexia. Messed. up. Beyond annoying to go all that way to listen to how fat I am and how I need to raise my kids. But don't get me started...

I am learning that there is a place for walking in wisdom and with conditions. Love has limits. Love sets limits. Love says the hard things in spite of the conflict it will cause.

So, I confess I can not go this time. I can not. There is a small, very remote chance that I can. But with conditions. I can only go in wisdom and under certain conditions, with our feet firmly planted in reality. I just don't know if these conditions will and can be met. Big sigh.

So I ask for your prayers. This upcoming trip is quickly falling apart. We can not agree about how to go, where to go, for how long, nor where to stay. I foresee this going on for months. I don't feel it's appropriate to get into details here out of respect. But please pray. All I know is that I can't go to Buenos Aires. I can not. The 12 hour bus trip to Cordoba to visit Tony's Dad is also completely out of the question. It's Bariloche or bust. Which, of course, is not possible. We can not visit Argentina without visiting his family, who live in BA. Therefore, I cannot go. Therefore, we are not going. Basically.

But God is clearly calling us back to Argentina. Following Him to Patagonia is not the issue. At all. Buenoes Aires is the issue. How do we reconcile this? We know He is guiding us to visit, to check it out, to prepare, to get connected in Patagonia. We know it. But going through BA is not possible for me right now with three children. It's just not possible. So what do we do? What to do?? How did we get HERE, at this major impasse in the road?

I know that's vague. I'm sorry. I wish I could be more specific. Please pray. Part of me needs to talk about it, but I don't feel the liberty. The Lord knows. He has called us, He knows the details, He knows the solution. I pray He shows us the way. If He wants us to go and check it out, if this is what He wants, He needs to work out the details, because we are at a stalemate. Tony and I rarely ever fight these days. That's what Christ can do for you. But we can barely talk about this right now. It's CRAZY. I just don't get it. I don't know if I am wrong, I don't know if Tony is wrong, I don't know what is right and what is wrong. Am I just being proud? Unloving? Stubborn? Or is he? I think I know one moment, then I question myself the next.

I can't budge. He won't budge. So here we are. Someone's gotta move. I can not, he will not. The LORD must.

But, maybe that's par for the course. The spiritual opposition has begun. The struggle, the pressing in, the counter-attack, the flesh. I hate this part. I can never do it. I was actually sitting on the couch the other day thinking, "I'm not cut out for THIS. I can't do this. Lord, you got the wrong girl. I am clearly not missionary material. Don't you see? Look. LOOK."

My friend sent me this the other day. A message by Francis Chan. It's exactly where I am at. Exactly. His wife speaks for 4 short minutes (at 9:00 minutes into the video) about what is has cost her to follow Christ. Listen to it. Even just those 4 short minutes. She talks about bearing your own cross and following Jesus, and how truly hard it is. She articulates precisely my struggle. How did my friend know that I needed to hear this? I didn't tell her a thing. But maybe that's the problem. I need to tell. How else can we receive prayer?

Thanks for praying.


Kristy said...

Thank you for sharing Chris. Will be praying as you work through the details of this time. May God give you unity and use this time to strengthen you and Tony as you prepare for the times ahead. May He used this time to hone your communication with each other and grow you both in your understanding of each other. May He use this time to remind you that this is His mission and that He will use it to make you both more into the image of His Son - even through the impasses (as we see them). Keep us posted...

Katie said...

Chris, I can just feel the anguish pouring out of this post.

I absolutely understand your feelings about Buenos Aires, and I want you to know that you're not alone. Daniel and his family absolutely despise the capital. They avoid going there at all costs. I happen to enjoy going for short spurts, but hey, different strokes for different folks. Plus, it sounds like you have lived through some very difficult times while in Buenos Aires, so I can see why you're adamant about not going.

I find the focus on superficial beauty very tiring as well. Argentines in general place way too much emphasis on being thin.

I suppose there are no easy answers to your dilemma. I hope that God helps you and Tony to find your way to the answers you're seeking.

Related Posts with Thumbnails