A few months ago, Lindsey messaged me on Twitter in the middle of my work day and said, “Hey I have a quick question! Can I call you?”
I messaged her back my new cell phone number, and a few moments later we were chatting.
“So, do you wanna go to Bangladesh in January?”
Dude, Lindsey. That is not a quick question.
* * *
2011 and 2012 have been an intense years for me.
At the beginning of 2011, I was a single girl, just beginning to feel aches and pains in my heart over the lack of true-Jesus and true-good women in my life. I was quitting my full time job and dropping out of college for the second time*. Not in a cool Christian, hipster sort of way – but in an I’m totally miserable and this cannot be what life is about kind of way. (I mean maybe it was just a tiny bit Christian/hipster, but whatevs. It’s working out.)
Have you ever been outside in a vast field, with a blindfold over your eyes? What is before you is massive, infinite, laden with answers to life…but you can only somehow feel its vastness, and the hands on your blindfold are whispering, “not yet, not yet, not yet.”
At the beginning of 2012, I was an oh-lord-I-just-met-someone-and-suddenly-got-married girl, just beginning to feel the aches and pains of finally seeing life created within relationships with girls through the new Good Women Project (one of the most beautiful parts of my entire life!) but asking, isn’t there more to All Of This than just talking. writing. telling my story, a thousand times over?
And now here I am, at the almost-beginning of 2013, with Bangladesh before me, and a year of emotional upheaval about the lack of doing, giving, face-to-face-love-ing behind me.
I made that sound more intense than I should have, perhaps, but there’s a reason that the posts have been going up slowly on Good Women Project and here on my blog. The heart shifts and grows, and these digital pages are learning how to align themselves with the newly budding desires and ever-maturing perspective. I have decades of damage from closing out my heart’s cries, and this outward silence is my learning to hear.
* * *
Lindsey and I talked some more, and she shared with me what Food For The Hungry has been doing around the world, and what they’re doing with women in Bangladesh.
It sounded incredible, but I felt like someone had just asked me how I’d feel about visiting the moon tomorrow. This is all well and good, hypothetically speaking, and for all my friends who do missions trips and live abroad, but wait – really – this is like, the actual moon. My apartment is in Hollywood and I have like, a real sweet grownup job involving celebrities ‘n stuff.
I had a thousand reasons why it was inconvenient, and not a single reason why I shouldn’t go. My whole life up to this point has been excruciatingly inconvenient, and I’m beginning to believe it may be the secret to happiness, joy, and all things worth experiencing.
So I said yes.
On January 24th, Max and I will be flying through Istanbul to Dhaka, Bangladesh for 7 days.
This is the first time I will be leaving the United States of America.
This is something I’ve wanted to do since I was 12.
This is something terrifying.
This is something beautiful.
* * *
To be honest, I still don’t know much about Bangladesh, or how exactly FH.org is creating new life and new love for the women there. But I cannot express how excited I am to go see. To be a part. To write, to share, to give you a glimpse of another world.
I hope that throughout January, you use my little blog as glittery binoculars, through which you can squint and see something beautiful and far away, made close and dear to your hearts.
* * *
Today, the upcoming trip became very real as
I got vaccines tiny diseases were stabbed into both of my arms in order to keep me alive whilst in Bangladesh. My parents weren’t crazy about immunizations when I was a little kid, so next week I go back for my MMR and Hepatitis B too AHHHHHHHHHHH. My right arm, in particular, feels as if the nice little nurse lady swung a baseball bat into it.
And here are some pictures from before/during our shots. I hope they accurately convey how unprepared and concerned I am for this entire ordeal.
DISCLAIMER: I realize that for a lovely handful of you, this is just 10 little days in another country and I’m making a huge effing deal out of this when really it’s not (I mean I’m not even quitting my job or moving or anything), but I just want to publicly acknowledge that I am consciously making this a huge effing deal and will continue to do so because people and women and Jesus and traveling and the world should probably always be big effing deals and to make it a little deal is kind of not fun to me. kthxluvuallsooooooomuch. xoxo
*I don’t always recommend dropping out of college. I know it’s really kick-butt hard, but it’s awesome too. Just hadda say that.