Something you should know about me is that am proned to homesickness. The stomach-crunching, crippling, cry for hours type of homesickness. It took me a long time to learn to not be ashamed of this. I have been recently thinking about how I have seen God’s strength, building stronger friendships and learning about the depth and complexity of God’s love through these times and I wanted to share that with you.
My friend and a real role model of mine; Mel Cousins recently preached about the book of Psalms in the bible. She specifically spoke about the Psalms of lament. These are the psalms that say things like ‘God, why have you forsaken me’ and ‘deliver me O Lord’. I have found that I connect with these psalms, particularly when I feel homesick
Mel talked about how these psalms tell a journey and have a structure. They usually start with a mournful expression, then continue with a complaint, then a curse before they bless God. She also said this journey of mourning through lament is fundamental for processing sadness and pain and that they always end with the glory of Gods goodness. Some people may never have experienced a kind of mourning, but we all will.
So, I thought I would share with you some of my mourning about leaving my home, family and friends, but hope that maybe I might share with you some of the strength, power, love and goodness I have and do find in this hard experience.
But, I hear you saying, what does this have to do with the Manly Ferry and the lovely image of my parents and I cruising on a perfect spring day along the Sydney harbour? Because this picture was right before we shared an intensive time of lament. For me the emotional experience of lament is one that I could best describe as a dark cloud descending over me. I sat aboard that ferry and I sobbed for the sadness of the beautiful life I was leaving and the many remarkable family members and friends who make up me. I sobbed for fear of what life in Africa will be like. Then together we acknowledged the goodness of God and blessed Him.
Mum and Dad shared my cry of being forsaken, my complaint of the awfulness of leaving, my cursing of why I would do this and my acknowledgment of the goodness of God in life always. And I was blessed to share my break-down with them.
And, that is why I will always feel fondly towards the Manly Ferry.