Post Trip DevoBack
What does this say about God?
What does this say about you?
Other than reverse culture shock and recognizing this new worldview that you now filter everything through, you may also find yourself grieving. That word in and of itself may make you shudder. Perhaps you even want to deny that grief might be what you’re feeling. But grief is OK, and in some ways expected. No matter the length of your trip, you were able to bond with places and build strong friendships. Sadness is a natural response when you leave these things behind. Right now all it takes is the slightest memory to stir this sadness – a certain smell, an image on a commercial, a song on the radio. It might be so prevalent that you feel like it’s all around you. And what can make this feeling even worse is when you sense that nobody around you can understand what you’ve experienced. Grief can be isolating in this way – like you’re on your own little island and there’s nobody in sight to rescue you. As you work through this grief, it’s importance to find a person in your hometown who you can meet with to talk about your experiences. Perhaps this is a small group leader or someone in your church who has been on mission trips before. It doesn’t have to be a close friend, but rather someone who has a listening ear and wise counsel. Share impactful stories from your journal. Let them know your frustrations or the things you find yourself grieving. It’s even OK to cry in front of them. Find time in the coming week to sit down over a meal or cup of coffee with this person. Just as God surrounded you with teammates on the trip to go through experiences together, He will surround you with people right where you are. This is the beautiful thing about the church and community: We bear one another’s burdens and share each other’s joys.
Since you’ve returned from the trip, at what moments do you find yourself grieving?
Who will you seek out to walk alongside you as you continue to process your experience?
Father, help me to remember that it’s OK to grieve loss. There are stories from scripture where we read of the times that Jesus grieved, so you know exactly the sadness that I am experiencing right now. Thank you for the gift of community and for not expecting me to experience this alone. As I reach out and share with others, help me to be honest in my feelings and . . .
Pray for a person you met or encountered during the trip (mission partner, local person, etc).
Pray for one of your teammates.