A change of plans…

I’ve been quiet, haven’t I? I haven’t blogged since Valentine’s Day.

That’s not true.

I live in a land of infinite beauty here in Africa...
I live in a land of infinite beauty here in Africa…

I did blog, but was asked to take it down after a reminder that I do not live in a country that embraces freedom of speech.

And then, life just got in the way. Boy did life get in the way. So much has happened in the past month that I can’t even begin to describe it. Horrible things. Wonderful things. So many things happened.

I’ve said all along that God uses us wherever we are. I’ve also said that whatever I decide about my future, it is ultimately between me and God. And in February I made the big decision – I would stay in Africa for a second year. I didn’t feel God calling me to one specific place, and I believed He was leaving the choice up to me.

“The Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

While I still feel that I can’t go wrong with my choice, things have changed. I started to feel uneasy. Some things started to unravel. My heart wasn’t at peace. My health started getting worse. Some things were revealed to me that I never imagined would be revealed.

I finally broke down one night while saying my prayers before bed.

God, I can’t make this decision. I need you like I’ve never needed you before. I need you to make it clear. I need to it to be crystal clear, spelled-out-in-the-sky clear. God, I am begging you. I need guidance and wisdom, and I need to know for sure what I am supposed to do.

I also live in a land of infinite chaos...
I also live in a land of infinite chaos…

The next day, God did just that. He revealed everything to me. He showed me things I hadn’t seen before, and He made it clear, just like I had asked Him to.

“Answer my prayers, O Lord, for your unfailing love is wonderful.” Psalm 69:16

It’s time to go home.

I know some people believe I’ve been “under attack” from Satan, but as long as I walk this earth, he will always be there looking to stop me from doing God’s work. That will happen in America as well as Africa. I’ve had enough conversations with God to know the difference, and I know that He is closing the door on my time in Uganda.

Yes, my heart is broken. I wanted to come here and fall in love with life in Africa. I wanted to find my lifelong calling and serve God here for years and years. But what we want doesn’t always line up with the plans God has for us. His plans, though, are always best.

I had to take a leap of faith before coming to Africa, but to be honest, I feel like it’s an even bigger leap of faith to go home. I will be unemployed, living at home, and trying to fit back into a society that was once normal to me but now seems so incredibly strange. I’ll have hundreds of stories to tell, but will anyone want to hear them? I’ll have so many memories, but will anyone even understand them?

I am faithful that God will work it all out. He has given me peace with my decision.

“Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you.” Job 22:21

I am overjoyed at the support I’ve received this year from friends and family, and even a few strangers. Whether it’s been financially or through prayer, so many people have given their love and support. But I need one last thing from you all: accountability.

Don’t let me come home and be the same person I was before I left.

I am at peace with my decision. USA bound in 71 days!
I am at peace with my decision. USA bound in 71 days!

Don’t let me forget Africa.

Don’t let me stop serving the Lord because I’m comfortable in my home country.

I will volunteer. I will fundraise for worthy causes. I will support missions. I need you to help remind me to do so.

I have 71 days left in Uganda. There will be no second year. God has big plans for me in America. I can’t wait to see what’s in store…

“Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised.” Hebrews 10:36

Not alone in brokenness…

“It’s just been really tough.”

I couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of her mouth.

“I’ve really been struggling with that,” someone else told me the next day.

I nearly fell out of my seat.

I have this tendency to think that everyone around me is perfectly happy. I see their positive Facebook posts, the smiles on their faces each day at school, and I assume that they’ve adjusted to Africa with ease. I then tell myself that I am a lesser person because I am not adjusting as well.

There’s another lie I often tell myself about other people, especially other Christians- that their lives have been magically perfect. That they’ve never made a mistake. That their families have no problems. That their lives have always been easy.

But I’m learning, the more I get to know my co-workers and become friends with them, that we’re all struggling in our own ways. We each have a story to tell. In some way, we are each broken.

Everyone on this planet is broken, but only some of us have discovered the glue that keeps us from completely falling apart when things get tough: God’s love and grace.

It’s comforting to know that many of my co-workers who, like me, are living in Africa for the first time and are feeling somewhat “broken.” And honestly, it’s a beautiful thing. If we didn’t feel broken, what need would there be for God? If we aren’t broken, we don’t need God to hold us together.

I’m learning to be content with being broken. I know I am only broken in a sense of this world, and that God is the one who makes me complete. I also know that no matter what the Facebook updates show, other people are broken as well, and with God leading our lives, we’ll get through this transition together.

“I am forgotten as though I were dead;
I have become like broken pottery.”

Psalm 31:12

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Psalm 34:18