Saturday, November 28, 2015

Blessed be the name of the Lord

30 days until I fly.... seems way too short. I've started packing because I know I'll have overweight bags and I know I need to be strategic about what to bring but mostly I'm packing already because I know it keeps me from being in denial about heading back. I'm not ready. I wish I felt excited about going back to Uganda. But the truth is I don't. I keep telling myself it isn't about the feeling. I know in my head that it is the right thing to do but it would be easier if my heart wanted it. Those last few months were hard, frustrating, lonely .... I spent a lot of time with very sick patients, or in bed, sick myself, or up in Karamoja alone and tired, or discontented with things that were going on, or extremely frustrated with IT or grieving with teammates.

Someone asked me what I miss the most when I'm in Uganda and I don't even know how to succinctly express it. Here I play volleyball once a week with friends and love it. I'm leading a bible study in a drug rehab facility and am feeling extremely challenged but not overwhelmed, unlike some of the ministry in Lormoruchbae which feels like far more than I can handle. I'm part of another bible study which flows naturally and we don't struggle with cross cultural understanding, language barriers or illiteracy. It feels so comforting. I watch stupid movies with my brothers. I run with my sister-in-law several times a week. I've logged more than 70 miles in the last two months. I can't run like that in Soroti and certainly not in Karamoja! And most of all, I spend hours playing with my nieces and nephew. I love to be around to baby-sit, go sledding, play in the sand box (those last three things even somehow all happened on the same day) read books, go on treasure hunts.
This, by the way, is not the niece I took sledding. 
So when I think of heading back and leaving all of this stuff I get nauseated. I've been praying about it. Asking God to give me back the joy. The excitement. The desire to serve Him in Uganda. I was asking for a word of encouragement that really re-ignited me. He did give me one that really spoke to me but not at all what I was thinking. Matthew 26:36-44.  About grief and loss and suffering and living authentically. Jesus said: I don't want this thing that is about to happen! Is there some other way?  But then he submitted. He fell down on his face and said not my will but yours be done. 
I know without hesitation that the work God has for me in Karamoja is not finished. He has not released me from this calling. My head says, Lord, not my will but yours be done. But my heart doesn't like it. 
Thanksgiving, we sang Blessed Be You Name. ...though there is pain in the offering, heart will choose to say, blessed be your name. (I highly recommend listening to it.) 
So that is it. That is where I'm at right now. Painful but choosing to give this offering. 


Anthony said...

Your post is real, honest, and what you are feeling is certainly hard.

Perhaps another way to think about it is that your time in the US is like the mountaintop transfiguration experience, it's so good. Like the disciples, you just want to stay. But the goodness of that experience, the glory of it, was to prepare Jesus and the disciples for what was to come, to give them a taste of the future glory that was coming, but the suffering and the work had to come first.

The mountaintop is so necessary for the recharging. But perhaps you need a bit longer stay than you planned? Can you extend it?

Amidst all the hard stuff about living here, there is one little guy to remember, he wants to see you and give you lots of hugs. He is small, white, and has very little self-control :)

Anonymous said...

I really appreciated your transparency in this post. You articulate what many of us feel. Know that you're not alone in the struggle. I've been reading a devotional lately (Streams in the Desert) that reminds me on a regular basis that spiritual maturity and growth only come through our trials. Our flesh wants to consistently resist the refinement, but our spirit knows it's necessity. Praying for you...keep pushing on. I really enjoy your blog. --a fellow KJ missionary (Amber)