Thursday, May 20, 2010

Emotional Roller Coaster

My emotional life has been chock-full of ups and downs lately. Most days, I feel happy, energized, and settled living my missionary wife/mom life all the way over here in Africa; but other days I feel sad, exhausted, and homesick.

The good news is that, even during those low points, I’ve never considered buying a plane ticket back to America. I know for certain that God has called our family to live and serve Him here in Tanzania. But I must admit, on a few of those low-point days, I have considered pulling the covers over my head and letting the day go on without me.

I’ve been contemplating whether or not I should blog about this topic for a few weeks now. It is ever so tempting (nasty pride!) to continually portray myself as someone who has it all together – you know, the life-is-always-good “super mom” type. I tell myself that I don’t want to burden my family and friends with my roller-coaster emotions. They all have busy lives. And what if they think I’m a lunatic? Or what if they think I’m just being whiny? So, I talked myself out of it.

However, during a recent women’s Bible study with some other missionary women, I was convicted about this topic. One of the ladies, a veteran missionary here in Tanzania, wisely encouraged us all to be willing to share both the highs AND lows of our lives with our friends and ministry partners back home. They need to know that we have many struggles living here in a different culture and that life isn’t always rosy. They need to know how to intercede for us and encourage us. They need to know that we still need them even though we’re far away.

Right there and then, I decided that I should write this post after all. I want you all to know that while I love living and serving here, life can be challenging. So, when you think of us over here, say a prayer for us. We need it.

At times, life does feel like a roller coaster, but I am always encouraged when I remember that we serve an unchanging God, who never struggles and who offers peace whenever we call out to Him.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)

The Holy Spirit often brings this bit of Scripture to my mind during the low points, and it is always an encouragement. It reminds me that when I’m tired, struggling emotionally, and I don’t think I can carry my burdens anymore; I need to run to Him. Jesus offers me one side of His perfectly-designed yoke. He wants me to keep serving and moving forward, but He’ll be there to pull right along with me. He’ll shoulder my burden, and I’ll find the rest for my soul that I so desperately need.

That’s good stuff.

So, now that I’ve rambled about how I’m doing these days. How are you? I’d love to hear from you.


  1. Thank you for sharing this! I have very similar struggles here as a stay at home mom here in the US, so I can only imagine what you must be going through! I will be praying!


  2. Melissa, I can totally relate. there have been days here where i have LITERALLY pulled the covers on over my head and let at least part of the day (even if just a half hour) go on without me. Sometimes, that's all you need to get you through a rough moment. I keep being reminded that it's OK to feel lonely, OK to be homesick, OK to be sad or frustrated or exhausted or weak. God simply wants us to tell Him when we feel that way, and try to give it to Him. Notice I said "try"! Still not great at it yet! Not sure I ever will be. Will pray for you friend. Know that there are missionary moms and wives like us all over the world feeling the same way. :) Karen