And actually, finally, we're home for a couple weeks now. We've had weddings the last two weeks and been in hotels for both of them. Noah was not happy at all to be sleeping in a hotel and I sure don't blame him.
The truth is we love weddings. And we love being around people. Honestly, I think Melissa and I were both mostly introverts heading into the summer but found ourselves constantly rejuvenated and refreshed by the community. If anything, we realized that maybe we're more extroverts than we originally thought.
But we had many times (me far more) in which we felt like modeling Jesus and running away to some countryside to be alone. It wasn't the people we were around, because we love and enjoy them an awful lot, it was just that it was nonstop. The hardest part though, was pressure I (Bart, by the way) was putting on myself to always be "on." I felt like I had to constantly offer sage advice and be the rock of our team. I felt like I had to constantly be modeling everything perfectly: evangelism on campus, initiative relationally, service in the home, service on the team, complete family man, and lead and cast vision for others to do all those as well. I just felt like I never got a break.
I don't think I put the pressure on myself because of some high standard I was trying to live up to or some excellent model I was following, but really because I cared about our project and our team and my family so much that I just wanted to give them my best. I wanted to be perfect for them. I wanted Jesus to penetrate every single little aspect of our project and reclaim it for himself.
This is a heavy desire, and the weight of it became to much to handle halfway through the summer. I crashed and hit a major wall. I got sick and just withdrew for a couple days. I felt as though I had been trusting God to have his way with our project the first few weeks of project, afterall that was why I was trying so hard; but I think the last few weeks was when I truly surrounded it to him. It turned, in my heart, from Bart and Melissa and Claire's project into God's project. See, he didn't need me. He can do whatever he pleases with or without me. I think that was finally starting to hit the depths of my heart.
But that is a really hard thing to learn. Though at the same time, it's very freeing and life-giving. Our last two posts reviewing our summer will be some more life-giving moments.