This is the beginning of a series on my travels in Mexico last summer, a trip that God used to teach me many lessons in love, humility, beauty, and wealth.
I stared at my half eaten taco and a queasy feeling came over me. I listened to my friends laugh and chat and I watched the game of Ninja in the corner but I only felt worse. Tears entered my hazel eyes and I felt like crying. But I didn’t know why. Everything was fine, great actually! Throughout the past 2 months I had made accomplishment after accomplishment: I’d performed my eleventh play, completed grade 10, written a book, sung and played at recitals and professed my faith. My social life had been soaring in every place, I was well-liked wherever I went, and my relationship with God was better than ever. To top it all off, I was now in Mexico, a place that I’d imagined all year, on a trip that I’d dreamed of doing my entire life. But even so, I felt drained, famished, empty.
I couldn’t take it anymore, so I threw my plate out and darted up the red, brick stairs of the YWAM base and into my room on the third floor. But it wasn’t my room, it wasn’t my home and I saw that as soon as I flung the door open and my blurry, tear filled eyes saw two of my friends sorting American money, strange pieces of paper to my Canadian eyes. My emptiness only grew.
Embarrassed, I ran into the bathroom, locked the door, and planted myself against the it. I knew my friends were talking about what to do but I couldn’t hear them. All I could hear was a voice inside of me saying: “Why did you come on this trip? Didn’t you know that you wouldn’t be strong enough to handle it? You should have thought about it more. But there you go again, making the same old mistakes. You are so stupid.” These words drained my already empty soul.
By and by, my friends talked to me, asked me what was the matter and if they could do anything to help. I said no, I was fine. I lied. They didn’t believe me, I could tell. They invited me to get smoothies with them, they told me that they loved me but my heart remained empty.
I looked in the mirror at my tear-stained, sun-burned, blemished face and I only cried more. I felt ugly and that made me believe the lies I’d heard earlier. As I washed my face and applied foundation and blush, I asked myself again and again why I had come on this trip at all. I asked God why He had sent me but I couldn’t hear anything back. I looked back at my make up covered face, but only felt emptier.
Later, I flung myself on top of my sleeping-bag-covered-top-bunk in utter despair and misery. I cried again, clearing the make up off my face. I asked God where He was again, but He didn’t seem to answer. I asked myself why I was here once more, and the same lies blocked my memory. The emptiness prevailed and I let the tears fall.
My youth leader came in to get something from her bag and noticed me buried in my sleeping bag. She asked what the matter was and I told her that I was resting. She asked why I was hiding my face from her. I didn’t answer. She climbed the ladder and talked to me, she comforted me but I was still drained, still famished, still too empty to find my way out.
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