Over the last few weeks I have struggled to sit down and write. There are many reasons why I have sat down and words do not come easily. A lot of it is the effort to write, sometimes it is the lack of time, sometimes it’s too hard to even try to write out what is going on in my heart, but lately it has been fear of man.
Fear of man. It hinders me more than I realize. Galatians 1:10 Am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of God.
Some of it may be my own perception but when I moved over to Uganda I envisioned how it would roughly look. I would spend days with the babies; changing diapers, nurturing those who have no one to nurture, kissing boo-boos and tucking mosquito nets in every night. I would be going into the villages, I would be spending time at our Secondary School. Instead I have found myself working on Excel spreadsheets, doing renovations on our Guesthouse, cooking in the kitchen for guests, creating budgets, waking up to serve breakfast early, going to bed late, sitting up late into the night with friends who are facing trials no one saw coming.
There is nothing romantic or risky about painting the dining room a new color, I could do that at home. There is nothing makes you go “awe” that I sit and work on spreadsheets and running into the market to get food. There are some days where I am not doing the typical “missionary” living but every day I wake up and the Lord reminds me, “This is where I have called you. I have called you not to impress others by your radical living but to be radical in serving. Serving not for your image but for Mine.”
If I wasn’t here doing this I wouldn’t have the late night talks sitting in the still African nights with tea in hand talking about life. I wouldn’t get to mourn with those mourning. I would have missed hugging my friend as she walked in our compound not understanding the verdict. I wouldn’t get to watch Jesus move through strangers that quickly become friends as they come in and out of our house daily from the field. I get to hear stories of what He is doing through first timers eyes, through veterans and through children. I get to serve those from my home and my new home. I have always loved hosting and having people come into my own home. If you know me well you know that I love my house full. How sweet is it of Jesus that He has allowed me to play that same role here? I get to welcome those who have come to serve into my home, feed them, take care of them and listen to them in the evenings as they process the beautiful yet the difficult roads here in this country. But the best part is I am doing this alongside the people who I love and who are so gentle and loving. Our skin might never change to blend us together but our hearts are blending and together we are learning. Learning more about each other, how to overcome cultural difference and work together as the body of Christ. It is quite beautiful.
Relationships here are rooted deep. Routed in a raw faith. At this particular time I am not doing what I thought my day-to-day would look like but sometimes it looks different. He is showing Himself to me through His creative ways of placement-knowing my heart and allowing me to flourish in hospitality in a place where everything is so foreign I know how to welcome and get in the trenches with others. So I may not out in the village every day but I am in the dining hall listening and building lasting relationships of both Ugandans and others from all over the world. Everyone has always laughed, including me, that relationships are the only thing I am gifted in..not sports, not books, not singing…just the girl with a 100 best friends. Maybe He was just preparing me for this day.
So my blogs might not be full of stories that bring tears of heartbreak or stories that you might read when browsing other blogs or even stories like I encountered last summer but I am still encountering a piece of the Gospel daily. It is still stripping me. I can’t let the fear of what others think keep me from experiencing where He has placed me now.
Sometimes it looks different. Everything looks different here. He is transforming my eyes to see like His. I see that even though I wouldn’t see myself in this very place, He did and for that I say, “Thank you that it looks different”.