“It is a strange and beautiful eccentricity of the free God that He has allowed His heart to be emotionally identified with men…Free as He is, He has let His heart be bound to us forever.” –A.W. Tozer
“I don’t know what I will do next or where I will go.” “I don’t know what is right. All I want to do is good.” The thoughts that have been running through my heart these last few weeks. Right. Good. Perfection. Enough. Words I have lived by (or been a slave to) my entire life. Ever since I was young, I have always wanted to do the “right” thing. Seriously, I almost never did anything I wasn’t supposed to because the thought of disappointing the ones I love, of being seen as a bad person, put the fear of God in me (as we say in the south) enough to always stay on the straight and narrow.
There has been so much anxiety and fear in this season. For the first time in my life I have no idea where I’m called to be or go. I have been forever changed by this experience and since leaving Uganda I have had this sense of not belonging anywhere anymore. I have prayed and searched for what is the right choice about what is next and God’s response in this season has been silent and simple…just stay with me. Which you can image for someone who likes to know and have a minimum five year plan, has been frustrating some days, defeating others, and just down right hard.
But in searching for answers from God, He has led me to realize how often I trade the good portion of Jesus Christ for right, good, known, and perfect. Because what is good or right or perfect outside of God? My entire life has been characterized by decisions based on thoughtful calculations of what I perceive to be right or wrong, good or bad, enough or inadequate…and I am so tired.
Since leaving Uganda, re-entry has been so incredibly sweet but so so hard at the same time. I am not the person I was a year and a half ago, sometimes I don’t recognize my own self when I look in the mirror. The things that mattered, that I placed value in, before I left have changed leading me to not know what I am called to anymore. It’s a weird sensation to have…almost as if you’re floating a foot above the earth just moving through life day by day.
But in this new and uncertain season, God has continued to reveal himself to me. And what I’ve come to realize is:
The more of God’s love and light I experience, the less I worry about what is next, where I will work, who I will marry…if life will ever be as fulfilling as it was in Acholiland.
The more God transforms my heart, the less I focus on the here and now, the temporary, the seen.
The more I chose to stay with Him, the more I look to Him, eternity, and the unseen.
The more of His light I see, the less I am consumed with being good, right, or perfect. The dimmer the things of this earth grow.
In these last few months, I’ve had to begin to release control and trust God more than I did when I packed up my life to sojourn to a foreign land, more than when I was navigating that foreign land, more than ever before in my life. Which has brought freedom and much needed rest, but has been so very hard. There are days where I’ve simply thrown my hands up (more frustrated than I would like to admit) and said, “Fine God, I don’t what lies ahead today, but I will continue to press toward your never ending light.”
But I have found so much peace and comfort in that light, even when the world around me seems to be spinning out of control. In that light, I have found the perfect love I so long to give and receive. I have found that God’s love for me isn’t dependent upon my ability to do right or seek goodness, nor is my worth, because that rests in a man who stood in the gap for me. I have found a God who, for reasons unknown to any of us, loves us so much He has freely chosen to bind His heart to us. A heart more pure, holy, and full of wonder than ours could ever be. I have found much needed peace and rest. In this season, He has continued to remind me: He does not change (Malachi 3:6). He is same in SC as He was in Uganda, and he is oh so faithful.
“For I the LORD do not change…”
Reentry has been hard, but not in the ways I expected at all. I’ve had to trust God in new and different ways as I mourn the loss of my former life and friends and celebrate all the love, joy, warmth, and sweetness I’ve had the privilege to experience and know. But God has whispered one thing through it all, “Just stay with me in this love and light and rest your weary heart.” What is next…I wish I knew. I’ll let you know in God’s perfect timing. Until then…you can find me resting in that unending light.