This morning as I sit to write, I am surrounded by familiar. I sit at a kitchen table that I have gathered around for family discussion on where the Lord is taking us, Sunday lunches with friends crowded around, and where conversations have shifted over the years. My dog still sits at my feet, the trees are still swaying outside the window with the Lubbock wind, the same news anchors I grew up listening to are quietly talking in the background, and I look around and it would seem from the outside not much has changed. It brings me a short-lived comfort to know that when I return home, no matter how long I have been gone, I can find comfort in familiarity. A place where my whole life was built, where I have endured heartbreak, where I have experienced the joys of “firsts”, the hurts of seasons ending, the excitement of new adventures, and where I was discipled and loved so fiercely by my family and those who He placed along my path. I am known here. Truly known.
Why is then that I fear to step outside of these four walls? A fear I have never experienced. If I step out into the world of those who know me, I will be exposed. I want to fit right back in, I want to engage fully in conversations and be able to truly relate with the people who I have always walked life with, but there is a numbing fear that it might not be so. This could be silly and I could find that it is exactly as I hope and desire it to be. I just have to try.
I am being raw with my feelings because I have to write to process. I haven’t been able to write leading up to me leaving Uganda and even now I am struggling with words because so much is going on inside. So, I apologize if this is one big confusing mess. It would just reflect the one pressing on these computer keys. Leaving Uganda was an easier process this time because I knew that I would be returning. Coming home is exciting. I have missed everything about home at some point and time and I am so thankful to be home. I want to embrace it fully. I want to engage in every conversation. I want to sit up late and talk with my girlfriends like we used to…about everything. I desire everything to still be so normal.
I am not normal. I am changed. The reality is I live now in a country where the day-to-day has aged me, in more ways than one. I have more gray hair and my soul has experienced emotions that has changed the very being of me. When I sit down to think about what I want to tell people, it’s not the same feeling I had last summer after three months, it’s like I am just getting ready to tell about how it has become my normal. I don’t cry as much because if I started to cry, I might not stop. I don’t share about every hard moment that I have encountered because I could be talking for hours. So I process with Him. I process with those that are walking that same journey. Even then it is so different for each individual. These are the things I am wrestling with.
So when you see me, know that I want to engage deeply in conversation. I want to know all about what has been going on in the last ten months of your life, because I truly value every friendship that God has placed in my life. I want you to feel like you are sitting down with the Dacia that you became friends with. I want to not fear that I have changed so much that people will feel like they are sitting with a stranger. If I can’t talk about what happened in Uganda it is because we could be there for days and I am most likely still trying to find the words to put together. I want my stories and my experiences to be as real as if you were sitting there with me on the other side of the world. But only Jesus can make Himself known in the story. I know He has given me a voice, and I want to be faithful with that voice. I am a voice for 140 teen-age souls that I have fallen in love with and take deep responsibility for. I want them to continue in school but the only way they can is if my voice is used here to raise more money. I am a voice for Pastors that I know by name whose family is depending on God to use my voice to bring their food and livelihood for the next year. I am a voice of babies that have been brought to me and ones that will come to find life.
Proverbs 31:8 “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all that are destitute.”
Will you pray for me? Pray that God will open up the doors for me to speak to hearts that are ready to listen and be a part of something bigger than themselves. We are living in hard days. Money is tight, we are afraid of our nation’s future, and so we will always have the tendency to hold tighter the blessings He has bestowed upon us. But here is the Truth…”Selling their possessions and good, they gave to anyone as he had need…PRAISING God and enjoying the favor of ALL people. And the Lord added to their numbers daily.” Acts 2-45&47