I am so excited to have my mom with me here in Israel. But I must confess, back when we first decided she was coming, I wasn’t so sure about it. You can judge me because I know I am a selfish daughter. But I wasn’t sure how I felt about having my mom volunteer for the same organization I am. You see, I crave independence. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s a normal part of growing up, or maybe I’m just weird. But I love the freedom of going to a new place without connections and seeing how it goes. I know if it flops I can always go home and be safe, but this desperate part of me that wants out of my safe box has to try. So when we decided she was going to come to Israel for two weeks, I wasn’t sure how I felt. I wasn’t opposed to the idea, but I wasn’t ecstatic about it either. It was going to be different having her where I lived and worked and had grown so much the previous summer. It was going to encroach on my independence.
But then my world changed. The past two months have been hard. I lost a dear friend and didn’t want independence. I wanted security. I didn’t want to leave my friends. I especially didn’t want to leave my family. For once, all I wanted was security. I almost didn’t come back to Israel this summer. I didn’t know if I had the courage. But I knew God had told me to come here this past winter. And I knew He, being all-knowing, was aware of how my world was going to change in April. And yet, He told me to go. So I came back. Fearful. Insecure. Broken.
I didn’t come back to complete strangers. There are a handful of staff members I knew last summer and the other new people I have met here have quickly become good friends. But when my mother stepped out of airport security yesterday, I have never been happier. I am so glad to have her here in Israel.
God is everywhere. I know that. And have not been alone the past two weeks. But God gives us family for a reason. He knows we need people here to hold us up when we are broken and love us unconditionally. I appreciate and love my family now more than ever before (and I never would have dreamed that is possible). I loved getting to play tour guide today and show my mom around the city. I loved getting to show her why I love this place so much. I loved getting to see the city through her eyes, falling in love with it for the first time just as I once did. I love having her here.
When I set out this summer, I knew I was going to blog about my life at Shevet just like I did last year. But I knew that it would be different because I am different. I am sure I will share many more funny, sad, or boring stories of daily life here. But I hope you also will accept my introspective thoughts. My confessions. I live in a world where many people try to appear perfect. I have tried to do so as well. But I am not. I pray this summer I grow in many ways. But I know the only way to do this is to accept some simple truths. I am a screwed up sinner. I need help. Jesus is the only one who can fix me.