“We don’t have the money for the good-quality one you want. Let’s get this cheaper one we can afford.”
As tears streamed down my face, I tried to figure out how to tell Orion my fear of needing to use the cheaper option for the next three years of my life in the mission field.
“Pause,” said Laurence Burn, AFM’s training director. I looked up. This was Difficult Conversations, the class where we were learning how to resolve conflict and create understanding even on the hardest topics. “Keren,” Laurence said, “Orion likely has a deeper reason. You need to keep asking questions until you understand where his answer is coming from.”
I turned to Orion, “Why do you want me to accept the lower quality one?”
“I want to get you something to use now. Then, when we get our outfitting allowance before we launch, we will have money to get you the better one.”
Although we had gone over the first part of the conversation many times, I had never gotten deep enough to know why Orion had been saying no. Suddenly it all made sense, and I was overwhelmed with a sense of how much Orion loves and treasures me.
Orion looked at Laurence. “Now why is she crying? I didn’t do anything.”
“Tears mean you have found something deep, and that she feels safe enough to let it out,” he replied.
“Orion,” I said when I could finally speak again, “thank you for taking such good care of me. Please forgive me for being selfish.”
Learning how to work through conversations that would normally cause a lot of conflict is one of the many topics covered in AFM’s summer training. It has helped Orion and me, and I am thankful that I will be going to the mission field knowing how to keep asking questions until I understand where the other person is coming from.