Just call me Howard Wolowitz

Photo Credit: ScreenCrush.com
Photo Credit: ScreenCrush.com

Anyone who watches The Big Bang Theory and also knows me would probably say I’m most like the character Penny. I love shoes and shopping, and I hate science. But unfortunately, I feel there’s a bigger connection between me and Howard Wolowitz, the nerdy, Jewish engineer.

Although I’m not Jewish, or an engineer, or nerdy (well maybe a little), Howard Wolowitz and I have something in common: we have experienced something our friends and family have never, and probably will never, experience.

You see, Howard Wolowitz went to space. When he returned, all he could talk about were his experiences in space. Every conversation he had led back to a story about being in space. His friends quickly became tired of him always talking about space, and they eventually called him out on it. No more space stories, they told him.

In less than a week, I’ll be Howard Wolowitz. I’ll return to my friends and family with stories of my life from the past year, and all of those stories took place in Africa. Everyone I’ve talked to who has spent time overseas and then returns to the US says the same thing: “Many people won’t really care. They’ll want a sentence or two about your time overseas, and then they’ll be over it.”

Ouch. I guess it’s good to be prepared, but… ouch.

IMG_20140524_175951My heart tells me that my very best friends will care. It tells me that they won’t mind that all I know for the past year is Africa, therefore, that might be all I have to talk about for a while. But what if that’s not the case? What if they get tired of hearing about Africa?

This is my plea to friends and family: be patient with me.

If every conversation we have leads to a story about Africa, I apologize, but that’s all I’ve known since the end of July 2013. It’s not that I’m trying to show off or brag about my time here, it’s that I don’t know any differently. My stories, my life, my heart, have all been Uganda for nearly a year.

Howard Wolowitz eventually realized that maybe he was talking about space too much, and maybe I’ll reach that point as well. But until I readjust to life in a first-world country, I am asking for patience and grace.

God just said, “Here you go Natalie…”

1395377_the_blood_3Lately I have been anxious. My feelings about certain things and certain people have really been confusing me lately. I was pondering some of the things that were causing a stir in my heart this afternoon, when I realized I hadn’t read my daily devotion yet. I reached for my cell phone and pulled up today’s verse:

“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

Wow. It’s like God handpicked that verse just for me today. Some of the things I’ve been worrying about are things I’ve taken into my own hands that I need to just let God take care of in His time.

This verse tells me to step back and be patient, so I can continue to do what God wants me to do right now. Then, when the time is right, God will give me what He has promised.

I don’t need to be anxious anymore. God’s got it all in His hands, and things will work out exactly as they are supposed to.