When we found out we are expecting our third child, we immediately decided to stop our small business that we had worked hard at setting up. We made handlettered (wooden) signs and I loved it. But my body, not fully ready for a third pregnancy, made this choice necessary. Lately, however, I have been feeling empty inside. I miss having something that’s mine to offer to this world. It makes me feel lonely and bored. I fill them up with investing in my children, but that is not always enough. I was hoping this blog would help fill up that void, but I realize that this blog scares me. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself and want things to succeed instantly. What frightens me most about this blog is being honest, even though that was my intention. So today, I am stepping out of my comfort zone and sharing a bit of my heart.
A lot of times people tell me that they think I am such a strong person and that I can handle anything that comes my way. This may be true because I do not like to admit to failure or let myself get (too far) down. Yet on the inside I feel like I am falling apart most of the time. And at the same time I feel trapped. Trapped by a culture, a people, a language I do not understand. Why? Mainly because I am a missionary kid. I was born in Holland, but we started moving around when I was three years old. I ended up seeing a lot of the world and living in different cultures. When I was 18, I came back to Holland and ever since then I feel trapped and can not seem to find my way out. I have tried. So hard. Tried to reach out, sometimes even tried to scream, yet nothing seemed to have the desired effect. I let myself believe the lie that I will always feel this way: different, not fully understood, never fully seen, always searching for more and longing for a place called home. I’m not good at laying down roots nor at friendship, yet often felt rejected when I have tried. It’s painful to open up a heart when you have tried so hard to protect it. And what hurts even more is when the scratches don’t heal. Because every rejection, every form of misinterpretation and every burden of loneliness layers on top of the old wounds. Scars, numb places, no feeling. That’s what I like to convince myself. Yet I know better. I have been raised to know better. I know that I am stronger than I think and that this battle can too be conquered. Yet it is taking much longer than I hoped. But maybe that’s because I have been blocking the healing process by keeping these feelings hidden.
I am just scared. Scared to be hurt by you. Scared to be misunderstood by you. I am scared that you will also reject me. Once I finally find the courage to open up, will you push me aside as well? Use me for your own purposes? Thinking I won’t care because I am used to the heartache that comes with saying goodbye?
Do not worry. I see right through you. And I am stronger. I will not let you get me down. Not this time. Wounds heal, eventually. Scars stay as a reminder. A reminder that I am not a quitter. I get back up, even when it hurts. It may take some time because new habits are hard to learn. But you will see the real me. I am stronger than I think. And I was made to shine.