Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Times of change

These last seven months since my return from Rwanda could be summed up in one word: change. 

I learned quickly that life could not go on the same after my semester with Go ED. My heart had changed. Life experiences had changed. Perspective had changed. Friendships had changed. My understanding, my surrounding, my knowledge of others... they had all changed too. All of a sudden returning to a familiar place was accompanied with growing pains, new tears and challenges. Whether I was prepared or not for this adjustment period, didn't effect it's difficulty. Life was changing and I could either fight it or move with it (Let's be honest... I fought it for quite some time).

My final semester at Northwest University was also marked by tremendous joy and blessing. Even though the first couple of months felt like a tear-filled blur, I was in a community of people who consistently spoke truth, love and peace into my weary heart. Not only that, doors of influence began to swing wide all around me, in ways I never anticipated. I got asked to lead my final track season as team captain, I was asked to represent the college of Ministry as a chapel speaker, to share testimony of my time in Rwanda to hungry students and help teach classes to other students in the Intercultural Studies major. The times of questioning I experienced were met by being asked to discover the answers with those around me. Which seemed ironic most of the time since I felt so empty-handed but I knew it was God showing His faithful abundance and that He believed in me, especially when I did not see it.

But again, this four year endeavor would end and be marked by that same word: 

Graduation was a joyous celebration, overwhelmed by the feeling of accomplishment and confronted by the incredible mystery as to what the next step would be. It was the question that every graduate will hear at least ten thousand times that excited me most, "So what are your plans after this?" Some find this question a little irritating and probably more terrifying than anything else but my vague and undefined vision for the future filled my heart with a indescribable sense of adventure. I wasn't even sure what it held but I knew something to be true... Africa was beckoning my heart and there was something great to be discovered.

God had perfectly been preparing, far in advanced, my next step in life. As I began to knock on different doors and explore different avenues to serve in Africa, again, the doors swung wide... My request for a position within UAOG in Hoima, Uganda was answered by this, 
"pack your bags, reserve your ticket, we're ready for you." 
The beloved family I've felt a part of in my last two visits to Uganda welcomed me into their family to serve in their organization.
"Sister Lindsey, my sons have been praying for your return." 
Those words from Pastor Danny confirmed what I felt in my spirit all along, I was going home and no place was a better fit. 

So, that's the big news. More change. This week I move out of the apartment I've lived in for the last two years and the roommate I've lived with for the last four years, in the same room (and we still love each other, that says something after four years!). I'm moving into more unknown, more vague details, exciting mystery and adventure. God has given me a place to stay with a friend, with free room and board (another mind-blowing blessing!) until I leave for Uganda in September. Again, everything is changing and I couldn't be more thankful.

At times I don't feel ready or I get scared about the unknown and leaving everything I've grown to love... but that only lasts for a time and then I am left overwhelmed with excitement. I still know very little about all I am stepping into but for now I am leaving in September, buying a one-way ticket with a definite year commitment to Pastor Danny and his mission in Uganda with UAOG (Uganda Assemblies of God). There is a possibility that I will receive monthly honorarium to pay for my school loans but some of these details I won't know until my arrival (talk about stepping out in faith!).

So in this time of change I ask that you would pray with me, journey alongside me and discover with me the unchanging faithfulness of our God in the changing of seasons.

Get ready, Africa is beckoning.