Steve and I were able to do a debrief for people in our line of work last week. (He flew back to the city we work in yesterday.) It was an excellent time of evaluating and processing our personal histories. It also gave especially me some great perspective on what I need to do differently in the future. How Steve and I naturally see some things differently so how better to support each other as well.
One thing that may sound a bit too simple for me to need to be reminded of (but was necessary!), was the understanding that it is OK to have needs of my own. I was designed that way! Compassion Fatigue is apparently common with people who work with people with dire needs. Their needs seem so overwhelming that you discount your own, but then fade over time yourself.
One thing that really struck me as we went through this time of evaluation was this. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could become totally 'whole' in all areas. Wouldn't it be great if we could like the three men in the fiery furnace come out the other side of things, "without even the smell of fire," on us? (Dan. 3:27)
Unscathed sounds great but then maybe we'd be without some of the benefits of those experiences as well? Maybe we wouldn't have increased wisdom, compassion for people in similar circumstances, and most of all we'd lack His 'mark' on us in ways that matter. After wrestling for a night with G0d Jacob always walked with a limp. (Gen. 32: 24-26) It was his Father's mark on him for the rest of his time on Earth. A reminder.
Like Paul did we should boast in our weaknesses. (2 Cor. 12:9) They're the sign of His power working through us, not our own. They're areas that He's touched us. And while they may make us feel 'weak' in ways they're just a sign that HE is strong.