Love in a New Light

After a year and half here, is it finally time to say goodbye to my home and family here. When I stepped on the plane so many months ago, I had no idea. I had no idea that I would meet a group of women who would inspire me every day with their strength, wisdom, and grace. That the 5 men I would work with would become my fiercest champions and most caring friends. That I would be loved beyond all reason and find a family that would refuse to let me go no matter where on this earth I roam. I had no idea how much I would be changed forever. I cannot even begin to describe what this season has meant to me. All words fall short. I will carry the lessons the ones I love have taught me until I draw my last breath. After the things I have witnessed and heard, I will never look at life or love the same. I have had the immense privilege to witness a love unlike any other. To stand in the Glory of God every day getting a true glimpse of what heaven will look like.

In this year, I have been loved so well. And in turn I cannot express to you how much I’ve grown to love God. And have found that the more I love Him, the more I love those around me. The more I find joy in the hard and challenging things. The more of His face and wonder I see. The less I want of what this world has to offer. I used to define success in life as a career, a house, a family. But those things seem so much less appealing now. When I think about what I want most in this world, it’s not a corner office or two-story house with a picket fence…it’s to love God and others well. It’s for His light and love to be so bright that it’s all others see when they look at me. For everyone to know I’m a follower of Jesus simply by my love for others (John 13:35). In this year, this has become the truest desire of my heart.

I recently read the beautiful thought that the idea of a stranger is a complete construction of man. If the same God creates us all in His Image, then does a stranger really exist? Does culture or skin-color or language make anyone a stranger? When you think about this for a moment, it truly is a beautiful thought that in love there is no stranger. We are all created, loved, and called by the same God. And when we truly take that to heart, it changes the way we look at ourselves, those we care for, and “strangers”. We all become people worthy of love simply because we are loved and valued by the same God.

I will be the first to admit though that loving others is hard. The human heart is deceitful, sick, and so so hard to understand (Jeremiah 17:9). And there are some days when I want to do anything but love others. I so wish matters of the heart could be black-and-white, with not a single bit of gray in between. But as my sweet mama recently told me, “love isn’t black and white”. While the human heart isn’t capable of loving in a way that is simple, often leaving me unfulfilled, heartbroken at times, and longing for things that may never come, there is beauty in the truth that God loves in black and white. Even when we don’t. His love is unconditional, overwhelming, and unfathomable. It’s dependent on nothing we do. It isn’t earned or given with the expectation that He will receive something in return. It moved heaven and earth to come and save us by nailing itself to the cross. And it’s this love I long for and strive to give every day.

The biggest lesson I have learned in this season of goodbyes is this: love never ends.

It didn’t end with the cross; it tore the fold in two.
It didn’t end when I uprooted my life and moved to an entirely different hemisphere; my love only grew for those back home.
And it doesn’t end when I leave here, I will always be loved and belong to a family.

It is so easy to default to fear in this next season that seems to hold so much doubt and uncertainty. But God invites us to stay and make ourselves at home in His love (John 15:9). And if and when we truly believe what the Bible says about God’s perfect love, then we come to realize that the more we chose to stay in His love, the less fear we have, for the opposite of love is fear (1 John 4:18).

Make yourself at home in My love

Words will never be able to properly describe the love I hold for God, Acholiland, and the ones who have meant so much to me here. These lessons that have broken me in this year have forever changed the way I look at love. I now see it in a beautiful new light. We are loved by our God beyond all reason. And I want to love others in that same way! Here I found a home. I was invited with warmth into a culture and people not my own, and loved despite my many mistakes and imperfections. It may be my time to say goodbye, but this love I have experienced will go with me. I will stay in this love and choose to give it freely every day no matter where the Lord calls me next. A piece of my heart will always lay here with the ones who have loved me so well. As one of my dearest friends here says…Kacel Watek Matek (Together we are very strong). Together in Christ we are strong. Together in love we are strong. My heart is forever changed!

Apwoyo Matek Acholiland! (Thank you very much) Kuc Obed Kedi! (Peace be with you) Until we meet again someday!




2 thoughts on “Love in a New Light

  1. May the Almighty God be with you whenever you’re going God love is For ever. As northern part of Uganda particularly Acholi tribes we shall be waiting to have you back once again and forever


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s