‘What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men …… That is what love looks like.’ - St. Augustine

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Still Hoping but Pretty Sad

A photographic reminder of why I am here -- sisters who love each other and should not be separated.
Sometimes I hate coming here, to my blog, because I worry I sound like a broken record, and one that is playing a terrible song, at that. Life is so hard here I cannot even express, and I hate saying that because I sound like I'm feeling sorry for myself. I'm not. Definitely not.

Annie posted something in the comment section of the last post that speaks to exactly what I'm experiencing here. This journey -- this painful, terrifying, ugly journey in a dark dark place -- is part of what God chose for me to experience. I didn't have to come. I said yes. I said yes to Him.

I got over my embarrassment of writing about my relationship with God here. I had the most visceral, personal experience of God a few years ago, and there is no going back after that. All the sayings I used to think were trite and sentimental (and made me want to throw up, if I'm honest) like "God loves you" and " He hears you." and things like that you always hear from the 'Bible thumpers.'...well, like St Paul, I found to my chagrin, that they are true. God called to me. I don't know why and I certainly don't feel worthy of it, but it is what it is. Like I said -- there's no going back.

Anyway, I can understand that there is a purpose to my being here and also be homesick. I'm human that way...haha. I've hit a wall the past couple days where I can't feel anything but down. I still pray and trust and hope, but I feel burned out and very sad and alone. It doesn't help that we're in a kind of limbo here, and that both girls are sad about different things and also the same things -- they feel caught in limbo too.

Don't worry, in my grief I am still proactive. I went with Svetlana to the top grade school in Kemerovo today. Nastia and I start teaching there on Monday. It is a school where English is taught from the first grade up. I will be teaching a Shakespeare class to the 15 and 16 year olds, and Nastia will be with the first graders. At least it will keep our minds occupied. Sadly, there is nothing for Anya to do there because she not only has no skills, but also has no desire to work. Sad but true. Hopefully I'll talk her into tagging along and watching me teach at least once. The school is really wonderful. I gave a talk there last May. very positive and happy energy there, and  it's not uncommon to see most people smiling. It's a welcome change, AND I get to do what I love. They've asked me to direct some scenes of Shakespeare for an upcoming concert, too. Should be fun. Shakespeare spoken in Russian accents is literally music to my ears. It's like having coffee and chocolate at the same time. It's heavenly.

I'll write more when I can say something positive.


  1. I'm sure you'll have lots to say on Monday afternoon. Hopefully the time at the school will lighten Nastia's heart as well as yours, and Anya will benefit by association.

  2. Once the 2 of you are away, I'll bet your curious Anya will want to know what it's all about and tag along. The fact that you both know both languages is proving to be amazingly helpful. Can't wait to hear about your days.

  3. I love that you're teaching Ol' Wil in Russia. That's the happiest news, in my mind. And the thing with Anya, like it is for other people who have never had enough (of anything), she doesn't yet know (I'm guessing) that you get by giving. You know this. Nast knows this. Remember Anya's face when she was helping distribute the toys at the orphanage? That joy only comes from giving yourself to someone else. I hope she joins you for the teaching, that she'll find SOMEthing that she can give in that setting. Helping with sets, gluing costume pieces, anything that gets her looking outside. Sending you love, comfort, hope. But lots of love.

  4. Amazing....reading the first paragraph, I was thinking "They need to get out and DO something." And - of course, you ARE. And what a wonderful thing. Should you decide to try for permanent residency, connect with Elizabeth in St. Petersburg, who has just succeeded with this. I think I gave you her address before, but it is here:

  5. Thinking of you from Texas - even if I don't say so very much.


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