My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Breaking the Silence

I used to come here often.  A place of reflection and respite.

This season of my life has been challenging, perhaps not on the outside, but internally.  I have struggled to voice the internal emotions.  I have filled my empty spaces with food and entertainment and anything that would stop the questions.  I stopped up the emotions and told myself that today was not a good day to "fall apart".

In all the filling up and the stuffing down, I found my heart becoming bitter and angry and frustrated.  I felt like giving up and leaving here, leaving my ministry here in Ghana and this place that I have called home for almost 6 years.  I felt let down and alone.

And one night, the dam broke with the words of a sweet friend.  And I realized that all that bitterness and anger and frustration...they weren't the true emotions of the deepest places of my heart.  They were merely secondary emotions masking what I truly felt.  Sadness.  I felt grieved.  As if I had been promised something that could never be fully given.

Looking back over this season, I realized that at the very root of it all, all the hard hard days and lonely, discouraging, anxiety-ridden nights...it came from this longing for more.

Tonight, I sit in such a tender hungry place.  I feel like I fought myself all day to get here.  To just sit in the rawness of it all.  To ask myself the questions.  To listen in the silence instead of drown it out.

I realized that I haven't given myself the permission to be in this place for quite some time.  And because of that, I have neglected my heart for the sake of "getting things done" around me.  There is never going to be a perfect time to dig deep and uproot the lies and start engaging my emotions again, to sit with the Lord in the middle of all this, to fight for myself once more.  But, I have to start somewhere.

Tonight, I started by giving myself permission to:

*take the time I needed to do some self-care

*sit in the silent places and give myself space to internally listen to what's going on and respond (emotionally, spiritually, physically, creatively, etc).

*say "no" to things (and people) that may want to enter into this sacred space (i.e. social media, screen time, having a day where Aunty Autumn gets "rest time" and the kiddos leave my door knock-free, etc).

*allow God to speak into places in me that need healing and wholeness, mindsets shifted, lies revealed, truth restored, even when it hurts.

I'm hoping that my Sundays in the months to come will be places of sweet restoration and that with the silence and the stillness and the study of my soul, I will find my voice once again.