The hours we’d traveled seemed to melt away as our team of eight pulled up at the small Paraguayan church. We had come to visit a missionary our church had sent two years prior. She was so happy to see us, and their whole congregation was excited to see what God would do during our time together.
I walked into the newsroom with a huge sense of excitement and anticipation. Ever since I had learned to read by asking my mum to sound out letters in newspaper headlines, I wanted to be a journalist. Finally, I had arrived.
The moment I stepped into her office, she completely bit my head off. Her eyes were wild with fire, her tone dripping with judgment. I could tell she was upset—and upset with me—but “the why” was unclear. I felt attacked: there had been no warning. Have you ever been completely caught off guard by someone’s outburst?
The text I received from Ella* was bleak. She couldn’t sleep, hadn’t eaten for ages, was angry with God and other Christians. She had had enough of feeling so dark.
I’m not a trained mental health professional. I have neither the ability nor the responsibility to “fix” Ella. But as a sister in Christ, I want to “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15) and help bear the burden of another (Galatians 6:2).
Parking in a grassy field, alongside dozens of other cars, I stepped toward a rustic barn where Nate and Anna’s wedding reception had already begun. Having opted out of fancy dress shoes, I adeptly navigated the terrain in my daisy-painted Doc Marten boots.