Sunday, May 22, 2016

My Starbucks Refuge

There is a strange thing that happens every couple of weeks or so, usually after church.  It goes like this: I would have a good weekend and a good time of worship on  Sunday. And then, right as I'm leaving church...BOOM! I would crash. I would be overcome by thoughts of worthlessness and loneliness.  Or homesickness. And these feelings would attack me like some horribly untamed beast, ripping at my heart and pulling me into a very real battle that I am not prepared for.

It has happened so often over the past few months that it should not come as a surprise to me but it almost always does. My guard is down because it's the weekend and I feel safe. The spiritual battle is most intense at this time because I am not ready for it. When this happens I would usually go to Starbucks.

At this point you're probably wondering why I don't just go home and deal with it there, or call a friend to hang out. Sometimes I do go home, but other times I think I need to be somewhat around others so that I am not isolated and so stuck in my own head. And as for hanging out with people, that has happened too, many times, but it wouldn't solve the underlying problem: my need to be close to Christ.

Ok. Back to Starbucks...

I order my regular Chai Tea Latte or Iced Chai, head upstairs, and grab a seat by the window and try to figure out why I feel so down all of the sudden. I would pull out my notebook and write down exactly how I feel, usually as a prayer to God or in the form of a drawing.

And the tears would come.

The hidden and suppressed stresses and feelings of the past week pour down my face. 'Why do I feel like I have failed in everything that I have ever done? Why do I feel so lonely and hopeless? Why am I not married? Am I worthless? Why am I so unsure about everything? What is going on with my health? What am I doing in Korea?'

I know the cause of a few of the those questions...and a partial reason as to why some of those feelings usually come on Sunday instead of other days of the week but I'm not going to divulge that information in a very public blog. 😜

Anyway,  the hours I spend at Starbucks are great. I sit in a place that feels like home (America) and drink my favorite drink. I read. I pray. I write. I draw. And I listen to the desires of my heart and to God's voice. It's a time of real personal reflection.
And the best part is that God meets me there, glad that I have finally stopped my busyness long enough to see the pain in my own heart and my need for Him.

Well done, Starbucks.  Well done.

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