I’m not sure exactly what I have to update this week. It’s been an interesting one. A lot of up’s… and a lot of down’s. There were so many moments this week where I struggled a lot personally. Moments where I felt isolated, unsure, contradicting, ecstatic, tired, joy-filled, hopeful, and peaceful. But most of all I really started to understand the mercy of the lord.
For the first couple of weeks I really wasn’t dependent or focused on my relationship with the Lord. I’ve always struggled a lot with belonging, and feeling like I belong or fit in. I think most people feel like outcasts to some degree or at some point in our lives, although for me it’s a pretty constant feeling.
I haven’t talked a lot about the struggles that I’ve gone through in college-especially on here. But college, particularly the first two years were pretty awful. Those two years were filled with events and moments that fundamentally changed me as a person, and ultimately led me to Jesus. Those events and finding the Lord also faithfully saw me back to my desire to live in Africa, and brought me to Uganda last year when I was desperate to escape the life I had created.
Uganda has taught me so much. It’s shown me my faults, given me the desires of my heart, brought up insecurities and fears I believed i’d left behind and conquered, a multitude of tears have been shed and sobbed for everything from overwhelming joy to overwhelming heartbreak. Since i’ve been here i’ve definitely been in the honeymoon phase and now i’m starting to feel and understand more of the issues and hardships the Lord is bringing to light in my life. It’s not fun but I know that the hard moments have a purposed that the Lord is working through. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Uganda and the people with all of my heart, but i’m no longer idolizing the expectations I came here with. Which, personally I believe is healthier. To let the “what if’s” and “should be’s” go and embrace the moments the Lord places in front of me.
What’s funny to me is all of the issues and hardships I’d prepared for and thought were going to be so hard, have happened and have been the easiest to deal with. This past week not only did I get an intestinal parasite, but also possibly got a mango worm (if you google it… just don’t. In the states only animals tend to get them, but they’re somewhat common here) in my leg that is currently still chilling there until it’s ready to be removed. None of that has been as hard on me as the personal “demons” and lies i’ve believed and had thought I’d conquered. I think Jesus is doing that on purpose. He’s showing me just how little control I have, and that instead of worrying and thinking about every which way something could go, he’s telling me, showing me, that I need to lay down these worries and insecurities at his feet. I need to come to him daily in prayer and adoration, thanksgiving and heartbreak, sorrow and abundant joy. HE is all that will sustain me, and self-reliance is a one-way ticket to disappointment and creates division in the relationship i’ve built with him.
One thing that hasn’t changed. How seriously awesome the kids here are. On one of my bad days one of the kiddos went up to me, rubbed my arm and said, “Auntie, what pains you?”, looking up at me with the sweetest, purest, most reflective of Jesus eyes i’ve ever seen. No matter what the enemy tries to throw my way, these kids make it all better. Even on the hard days just seeing their sweet faces reminds me that Jesus is never far from us and is working all things out for our good.
Your God is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you. Happy to have you back, he’ll calm you with his love and delight you with his songs.” Zephaniah 3:17