I have stayed awake late into the night this week just reflecting on my ten months here. Afraid to really begin to reflect because there is too much. In one day I can experience every emotion. In one day. So it becomes life here and it becomes normal. I am thankful. I thought I would be able to write a blog post capturing my time here but it is impossible. He has done a work in me that cannot be put into words. I can’t capture it, but I am praying that as I return home to my family, friends, fast pace, small blessings and all that is America, I can embrace it all with overflowing gratitude. I know I am not the same but I pray that as I encounter every conversation, every speaking engagement, every situation that I can display that I have done nothing special…I am not super woman…I am not radical…I just have tasted from His cup. A cup that is available for everyone to drink. A drink that is offered to His children everywhere…from a remote village to Texas, to New York…
The question that I have been asking for months and so many others ask this same question that come spend any amount of time here…”How do you experience Jesus in America like you experience Him in Uganda?” Is it possible? If God called me to move back to America, could I find the same fulfillment in my day-to-day there? Life there has a whole different set of problems…but it just seem different. Not as desperate. I have been seeking out to find this answer. What do I have here that I do not have at home? The truth is He is the same Jesus in Uganda as He is in America.
I think I have tapped into it. I am not the first. I am just beginning to see that this truly is the answer to fulfillment.
Eucharisteo-thanksgiving. Ann Voskamp has written a book “1,000 Gifts”. We are reading it in my community here and last night as we poured over her words, it hit me. Here we are so thankful. Thankful for life, thankful for food, thankful for rain…in fact before every church service you will hear the congregation rise up a loud passionate “thank you” for at least ten minutes, they lift up thanks. This is what we are missing.
A grateful heart. Not only for the big things but for the very day small graces. Breathing.
So today let’s begin…
“And when I give thanks for the seemingly microscopic, I make a place for God to grow within me.”- Ann Voskamp
Marvin- A two-year old boy who never showed emotion. He was suffering from neglect and malnutrition. His smile reminds me He is a God of miracles and only He can comfort the heart of a child.
Elijah- He stopped breathing, his body was too weak and frail to fight. But the Lord fought for him. Elijah-He is God. Thankful for His smile that reminds me, He alone is God.
Damien- A ten-year old who I met shortly after he had experienced more trauma and tragedy than anyone I know or heard about. I was not sure that a smile would be possible for this child. I am thankful that He has lifted us up out of our pit and set our feet on a high rock. He alone is our portion.
My Granddad and Dad- Their smiles remind me that I am thankful to have Godly earthly men who have raised a child in the way she should go. Two men who have given me the confidence to fly and walk in His acceptance of me. Because of how these two men have loved me, I know my Father’s love more intimately. Their smiles say, I am proud of you, I love you and I am thankful that their smiles are a reflection of His.
Today, what food and smile are you thankful for?
“….Life change comes when we receive life with thanks and ask for nothing to change.” Ann Voskamp