Monday, October 22, 2018

Will you pray for me?

Image may contain: ocean, sky, outdoor, water and natureWell, would you look at that. This blog is still here. I though I'd neglected it to death by now.  But, here it is and I'm headed back to Uganda tomorrow so seems like I should revive it.  I know I've talked to very few of you (as if I have any readers left) about this trip. But mostly because that is all that it is, a quick trip. But if you are actually still reading, I do want to try to update you. Hence this blog revival. Wow, I'm writing in circles. It's like I'm out of practice with this blogging thing.... mostly it's because I don't know what to write, I guess.

I loved being part of what God was doing in Obulle and most days I was up for the challenges of life in Soroti. But then suddenly it all seemed like too much. And I couldn't do it anymore. I tried to tell myself that a break was all I needed. But I'm finally at peace (sort-of) with the fact that I can't go back to Soroti and do what I was doing.  I may someday live in Uganda again but the work will have to be on a medical team and look a lot different.  I thought by now I'd have a plan for that. But I still don't know where that is or what it will look like.  I think God is still saying not yet.

There is a quote by C.S. Lewis in his book "A Grief Observed" after the death of his wife where he is talking about a feeling, that many have, in the midst of suffering, of how quiet God can be.
But go to Him when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence.” 
I have felt this so strongly for so many months now.  In Uganda some of the problem was my own suffering and grief from the hardships that just come with being a missionary, but some of it was also being constantly surrounded by other's grief and loss. Young babies and children dying of illness that are so preventable, nothing I could do for debilitating, painful injuries and disease. The endless hunger and hopelessness that the poor, vulnerable and neglected of my adopted home struggled with daily.  Being in a position that I knew God put me in, a having resources to offer, but still feeling like what I was offering was a drip in the ocean. And calling on him, desperate, wanting to help people.  AND WHY WASN'T HE ANSWERING ME?!?
I got angry at God. Why was I hurting so much and he wasn't answering?! Why couldn't I do more?  Was I trying to work in my own strength?! I didn't want to be, but felt like I didn't have the strength to make it through the challenges of the days.  And He is a God of endless strength. So the disconnect had to be on my end, right?
Even after being away from it for a year now I still get mired down in hopelessness and discouragement more often than I'd like to admit. I don't even like to confess that because of the shame that always comes with it. But that is a topic for another post (or seven.)

Tomorrow I'm climbing on plane. I'm packed, international driver's license in hand, several currencies in pocket. Physically ready. But scared. Sad. Afraid. However, I really, really want to do this at the same time. Will you please pray?
I'm not even sure what to ask you to pray. I'd love to come back at the end of this short trip with a clear idea in mind of a place God is calling me to serve (or even a possibility or two that are divinely ordained, or even at least a sense I'm supposed to be living again in Uganda in the near future). But I'm not sure that is from the Holy Spirit. I need to learn again to trust, listen, wait. Be content in these circumstances. Be satisfied in God alone.  Thanks.