How much stress do you deal with in your daily life? Probably a lot, if you’re like most Americans.
How much stress do I deal with in my daily life? Quite a bit, if I’m like most missionaries.
I recently re-came across this blog article about stress that missionaries face: blogs.ethnos360.org/brian-pruett/2012/03/23/just-how-stressed-are-missionaries-and-what-can-we-do-about-it/. It basically says that according to one scale, if people score over 300 POINTS, it indicates a major life crisis and is highly predictive (80%) of serious physical illness within the next 2 years. I haven’t taken the test lately (I’m not sure I want to know what my score is!), but the blog article said that most missionaries peak out at about 900 and regularly sustain levels of around 600. It’s God Who sustains us through physically unbearable levels of stress and change.
“Susie, what are some of your stressors lately?” you may ask. Well, besides the regular ones like being hassled as soon as I step out of my gate, living in a land where things don’t go as smoothly as you would like, not being able to plan ahead, not being able to advance on My People front quite yet, etc., let me share with you a few others. These are all situations that have come up or I have become aware of in the past two weeks, though most of them hit in the course of one week:
– One friend’s house is supposed to be bulldozed in three months, with no other options of where to live.
– One friend, who is 23 years old, said that no matter what she does the rest of her life, she will never, ever, be proud of herself again because she wasn’t able to “succeed in life” before a certain someone close to her passed away.
– One friend’s girlfriend went off to college and cheated on him.
– One friend’s grandpa is dying and she’s far away from him and from the rest of her family.
– One friend’s 20-month-old granddaughter just got diagnosed with eye cancer, with the treatment option here being either to remove both eyes and possibly get rid of the cancer or to leave it and . . . .
– One friend is dealing with lots of verbal abuse at home.
– One friend was majorly insulted (verbal abuse) and kicked out of the house, told never to return. This is in a Christian family, and is only because he didn’t pass a certain test, of which I’m sure well under 10% pass it the first time (and I would imagine that it is more likely that only 1-3% pass it the first time, though I don’t have statistics to support that).
– One friend’s children were in the village two weeks ago when they had to flee to the bush for their lives, where they spent days (I think) with basically no food or water, and just sleeping wherever they were when they got tired.
And those are just the crazy stressors here, not to mention those of you whom I know are suffering in the US (you know who you are).
So what am I to do with them? Bring them to Jesus and not try to carry burdens that would crush me. I was also encouraged the other day to realize that God brought all of these into my life at a point in time when things were calmer on My People front, so I had more time and energy to be able to be involved in these peoples’ lives. He does know what He’s doing, doesn’t He?
If you think of it, please pray that I would be able to point these friends to Jesus through their struggles. Pray for them as well, as I know that they’d appreciate it. Thanks!