My favorite things

My favorite things

One thing that was very important to me when I made the move to Uganda was that I was still going to be “me”. I knew He would change me from the inside out but there are just certain qualities that He gives you that make you, you. Mine is I love fashion. I believe it is one of the perks of being a girl. It’s a way to have fun and be unique.

So I have continued to find little things here that make me happy.

Many times when girls are coming over they ask, “what do I pack?” It is a completely different culture here so it is fun for me to find pieces that I love that I can wear here and back in the States. I believe it’s ok to dress up and feel like yourself no matter where you are serving, as long as you are respectful of the cultures and audiences around you. That our outer reflects our inner 🙂

What people don’t know is that I don’t wear scarves in Africa solely to be trendy. When I have to go into a place that does not have a pleasant smell the scarf shields my sensitive nose. At night when it gets chilly, the scarf becomes a shaw.

This PeaceLoveWorld scarf is one of my favorites. It is light weight and unique. This brand has many great items that I love. Check them out.

This is not me

I sat with one of my closet friends this weekend and we started talking about what the next few years look like. He asked me if how long I planned on being in Uganda and I answered him like I have answered everyone, “I don’t know. I take it one year at a time.” With all sincerity in his heart he said, “I think you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, and that you are meant to be there, but not forever. It’s just not the Dacia we know. We know you to love your friends more than anything, you are always connected, you enjoy being a part of what is going on in everyone’s life back home. You love your family and you are family oriented. I just don’t think you could be gone forever.”

I knew his heart and I love it. I agree with him 100%, he knows me well. He knows that it is not me to be away from my friends that are my family. He knows that I desire to be a wife and a mom and I have a very sweet family that I love being with. And I love that I have friends that know me the way they do and it is comforting to know that your friends actually do want you to be here, doing life alongside of them. His words were true.

This is not me…

It is that very statement that I have prayed would be what leads me, what defines my life when the world looks at me, they will not see Dacia, but the love of my Savior that demands my life, my soul, my all. This is not me at all. If I could choose, I would really try to have the best of both worlds. I would recruit everyone that I love spending life with to pack up and move with me. I would have my mom and dad there in Jinja. But His love has stained me and it is no longer about what I want. For I have tasted of both worlds. I know what it is to live in my favorite city, to have an incredible job, to have security, to not really ever “want”, to call up friends at anytime, to be successful, to start a business, and there are days that I miss it so much. I also know what it is like to say “I’ll go”. To sacrifice very little and to give up a few comforts in order to gain a perspective that allows me to see with different eyes. A life where there is suffering daily, but it is what I long for, because that is where I see Him. A life that sometimes is very lonely, especially for a girl who loves people, but a fulfilled life that makes the lonely nights worth it. To have tasted of life.

400834_10100538290867748_1789050404_n Life in its fullest. 

That is what we are searching for, is it not? Something that allows us to go to bed at night feeling like we had a purpose that day. To wake up knowing that the day might be full of heartache, but we will overcome because He has promised He would never leave us or forsake us and that He is there, in those moments. To walk assured that you are right where He wants you. That a black and white life has become vibrant with color and meaning.

Although right now, in this moment, I would love to stay and not have to say goodbye, again. I wrestle with the same lie from the enemy which is- if I go, I am prolonging the chance for a relationship. I actually sat down next to a sweet woman on the plane a few days ago and as we started talking, she told me one of her good friends had always been called to Africa, but now she finds herself in her 30’s with the desire to marry and she is scared to go. I was quick to tell her, “No! Tell you friend she must go! It is worth it and God will not ask you to go and then expect you to forsake natural human desires, such as being married. He is so creative, and will bring him to us while we are busy in the fields. And if it’s not His will for us to be married, then we are in a place that we are being poured out and used so much that it’s hard to feel solely alone. Tell her to go…” Today, if I am honest with you, I struggle believing and living out my own words. I know they are true, but my heart says…”this is not me…I want to share life with someone, I want to share this adventure with another that can get in the trenches with me and then shout for joy on the mountaintop. I want to have babies with my friends and have them grow up together.”  This leaving when everyone else (as it seems to me) is settling, establishing roots.

But deep in my soul, I hear Him say, ” I have more for you than you could dream, Dacia. Your anchor has dropped and it is planted firmly along with my promise,”You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” PS. 16:11 I am the desire of your heart. Me. I AM. Take my hand, let’s do this journey together. Focus on what I have called you to do, for now. This is not you, for you cannot do this on your own. Just like I called the Israelites out of slavery into the Promise Land, so I have called you. I have the Promise in mind, but I want you to endure the process. For when you look ahead all you will have is questions, but when you look back you see the answers. I have never forsaken you. I have taken care of the mundane details of your life. I got this. Let’s go.”

So my answer is this…”No turning back. The cross before me, the world behind me. I will follow. This is my anthem. My life for your fame. My every move bring glory to Your name.”

So this life, my life in Uganda, it really isn’t me…..

It is Him.

I sit to write

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