If Uganda has taught me anything this week, it’s that it (+jesus) is showing me the major areas in which my personality and character need refining. It doesn’t feel great, rather a lot like smoothing out the rough edges with sandpaper. Everyone-I need to give more grace. Like your girl here is stingyyyy with giving grace. And I didn’t realize it until now.
If you know me in person you know for the last couple of months I have not stopped talking about the enneagram. I’ve been and still am on a path to figuring out my number. There are two that are really seeming like they might be the one I identify with so i’m currently reading about them a lot, listening to podcasts, etc., to try and hopefully understand my underlying motivations and behaviors. The process of figuring it out has showed me different faults I have and different ways of thinking that i’m so grateful for. But that coupled along with Uganda has made for some not fun introspective moments on my part.
I get into my head-and often. I hate showing any emotion other than happiness or joy or excitement no matter what i’m actually feeling. It’s a lot easier to keep that up back in the states where I can go for walks and process alone but here i’m surrounded by (the absolute best) people and my poker face is not that good.
This week has been filled with more of the melancholy moments and “self” issues, that as much as in the moment I don’t like or desire i’m grateful for them. In those moments I need Jesus. I cling to him and his word. What does the Lord say about who we are? I’m currently in the middle of doing the Armor of God bible study by Priscilla Shier and in the back of it it lists exactly who God says we are (& these are just a few):
- We are children of God, “But those who embraced him and took hold of his name were given authority to become the children of God!” John 1:12 TPT
- We are tenderly loved by God, “… I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you.” Jeremiah 31:3 CSB
- We are completely forgiven by God, “By whom we are set free, that is, our sins are forgiven.” Colossians 1:14 GNB
- We are friends of Christ, “Now that we have actually received this amazing friendship with God, we are no longer content to simply say it in plodding prose. We sing and shout our praises to God through Jesus, the Messiah!” Romans 5:11 MSG
- We are made complete in Christ, “And our own completeness is now found in him. We are completely filled with God as Christ’s fullness overflows within us. He is the Head of every kingdom and authority in the universe!” Colossians 2:10 TPT
- All our needs are met in God, “You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity. Yes.” Philippians 4:19-20 MSG
Those are just a few of the things that the bible makes very clear about who we are.
Week two overall has been growth inducing, jesus clinging, adventure filled, and solidifying. This week I feel like i’ve been over-analyzing my thoughts and feelings and mistaking them for what I presume to be God’s plan for my life. The root issue is of all of this is simply that I don’t trust my self to accurately interpret what God is trying to tell me. And i’m terrified to follow my own desires when my utmost desire is to follow the Lord. But you know what? I have such sweet friends here, and one in particular reminded me of this: If God gives you a desire and it lines up with what the bible says and it doesn’t hurt or go against the bottom line of following Jesus, which is to love others, and he’s given you no clear red lights-take that desire as the green light you need from God and keep running with it and pursuing that passion or desire until he gives you that red light. Psalms 37:4 (NIV) says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
So, that is what i’m currently trying to do, delight myself in Jesus and where he has placed me right now. And that is Jinja Uganda and Ekisa Ministries and there is nothing but thankful rejoicing that he has indulged this particular desire of mine. I love this place and this ministry truly and deeply. I will forever stand by the fact that disneyland is not the happiest place on earth – Ekisa is. I don’t know if it is possible to not be joy filled, even in the midst of angst or distress, at Ekisa. The children are simply amazing. And not because they have special needs or they live here, they just are.
That being said, here is a bunch of photos from the week!