If you feel like you have nothing left to give, read this
A few weeks ago I invited you all to come share your stories of what “well” means to you. I’m delighted to introduce you to the first person brave enough to put up their hand and say, “I’ll take this “well” journey with you.” I’ve met Kimberly a few times. We both work for non-profits in the cycling world and have run into each other in unlikely places across the globe.
I hope Kimberly’s take on “well” has you rushing to relate your “me too” moments to her in the comments.
“Well”….the first thing that comes to mind when I hear well is… “unwell”.
The word “well” is an adjective, adverb, noun, interjection and an idiom according to dictionary.com. That is quite an array of meaning for such a small, seemingly insignificant and overused word. Yet, “unwell” is simply ailing, ill.
The second definition of “well” is the hole in the ground or spring where water comes forth or used as a verb, to rise, spring or gush forth.
So why do I only think “unwell” when hearing “well”?
I am the hole in the ground from where everyone draws water. <-- tweet this
Seven years ago the well was newly dug, brimming with clean water, life-giving water.
Today, after countless people have taken from the well, lived from this well, neglected this well the spring feeding the well does not rise, spring or gush forth. It sputters and spews and some days the water is fine for drinking.
Other days, it’s bitter and must be boiled to rid it from disease causing bacteria. And the only rising, springing and gushing forth are the tears in my eyes after the overload of use on my emotional pillar of strength.
I came to Rwanda in 2009, April, genocide month.
They say it’s only a commemoration week, however, the pallor of sadness, loss and unresolved anger and guilt lingers for weeks after the scab from the prior year has been picked off by the memories spoken aloud.
I came for three months to help a bicycle initiative, which was taking its final gasp of air, intertwined with this initiative was Team Rwanda.
Team Rwanda became my passion. Helping cyclists as a cyclist passionate about the sport was a dream job, even if it paid nothing. In 2009, Team Rwanda was about eight riders with no real direction or goal. We limped along on funding from month to month. In 2010, I realized the prior bicycle initiative I volunteered was an anchor around our neck so we launched our own non-profit for Team Rwanda Cycling in the US. In six years have grown the team to over 30 cyclists. Our budget has grown from about $75,000 to this year, to over $500,000. We have five riders on professional teams, two going to the Olympics this year, and a female who could race for a European team later this year.
Stepping back, we have done “well”, very well.
A three month sabbatical from my high powered job in Las Vegas became a seven year labor of love….and sadness. It has added a depth to my personality I never knew existed. I love people unconditionally and wholeheartedly even when they break my heart.
This growth has begun to drain the well and I am actively seeking replenishment from a variety of sources as I know if the well stops giving forth, or at this stage, sputtering, it is over.
I meditate, fitfully, although consistently.
I exercise daily.
I eat well…healthy.
But most of all I read the Bible and pray.
I cannot look to the outside world to bring the spring inside back to life, gushing forth.
I can rely on friends and family, but there’s a limit to what they can do.
When I deal with only the physical world I am laid waste.
There’s not enough money, love, care, understanding, repairing to respond to the variety of issues and sadness I experience every day, through these riders and their families.
Colossians 3:23 says, Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.
I can only do so much.
I cannot take away the poverty, the jealousy of the rider’s family and “friends”.
I cannot keep them safe from heartbreak, loss and even danger.
That is their life.
I can just give them some sustenance from my well; the well filled by my faith in God and the gifts God has given me.
As I lay sobbing, thinking about the money I give a rider’s mother every month to feed her children, recalling a conversation with a rider about his family demanding so much from him financially, to thinking about our sole woman cyclist talking about her past – which is horrific at best – I am reminded I have an unlimited source of grace and love and forgiveness.
I am reminded it is not my well, but His, which will keep me “well”.
I grew up in the Kansas, in the middle of the United States. My views are influenced by my faith based, strong work ethic family. I owned my first business at 21, my last at 42. My last stop before moving to Rwanda in 2009 was Las Vegas. I still call Las Vegas home. Today, I am the Team Manager for Team Rwanda Cycling, the national cycling team of Rwanda.
Find me at:Twitter: @Mokigirl
This post reminded me (Wendy) of a beautiful promise God has given us in Isaiah 58:10-12. If you’re feeling tired and empty I hope it helps to fill your well again. You can also click here for a free printable like the one in the picture of this post.
“If you get rid of unfair practices,
quit blaming victims,
quit gossiping about other people’s sins,
If you are generous with the hungry
and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
firm muscles, strong bones.
You’ll be like a well-watered garden,
a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You’ll be known as those who can fix anything,
restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
make the community livable again."