As workers here (and really anywhere) we all have triggers that affect us, make us question things, make us homesick, and ultimately allow the enemy to creep in and cast doubt on things we usually feel confident about. Many of these triggers are silly for most people. But, man, it is hard for me when I encounter them.
Since arriving here 3 years ago I’ve seen no more than 3 of these trucks throughout the entire province. If I had stayed in the States another few years this probably would have been the next big thing I would have begged Lily to purchase for myself; either this or my other dream car.
I had an interesting childhood. I was pretty much raised by a single mother. My dad traveled so often for work (and many times living overseas) that he was present for less than half of my childhood. I knew he cared about us, but it wasn’t until I was an adult that I really knew he loved us. This was hard on my mom. She was a mother and many times a father as well. She was the homemaker and disciplinarian. She never assimilated well (as an immigrant) so she often felt hopeless, especially after giving up a job she loved in her home country. This all led her to have many issues that I won’t mention here. My sister and I despised her growing up because of those issues she faced. It wasn’t fair, but it was true. Her issues caused major issues for us…and we hated her for it. Growing up, I felt cared for (I guess), but truth be told, not only did I never felt loved, I felt like them caring for me was more of a task…a burden they never wanted.
I tended to fill that void with material things. It felt good buying new things, expensive things. Clothes, electronics, whatever. In that moment, after buying something new, it felt so good. It was a wonderful escape. If I remember correctly, between the age of 16 and when I graduated college (22-23 years old), I had switched cars 4-5 times. I also remember driving my new car(s) around the city, enjoying the new car, then parking it in the parking lot and just crying and crying in the car, not even knowing what I was crying about. This desire to buy more and more things to fill this bigger and bigger void became a life goal. I told myself, at all cost, “when I grow up I want a job that will allow me to buy anything I want” because these things brought me happiness I wasn’t able to get anywhere else.
For some reason, after coming to Christ in college, my struggle with materialism has continued. Am I able to control my compulsions to buy more and more and better and better things than I once did? Sure. But, man, it’s still hard. These “things” still symbolize “happiness” for me. These things still fill a void for me. These things still trigger complex emotions that I still haven’t fully processed or began to understand.
Can you please pray for me?