15 hours in the air and 8 hours waiting at airports and I finally made it to Uganda. It feels as though it takes forever to get to this new land, and I have had the past four meals served to me in a plastic container on an airport tray. Sleep wasn’t easy and if I ever win the lottery, I’m flying everywhere first class.
But I’m here, and my heart is open and ready to see what lies ahead of me.
On the flight, I have been reading “Miracle on Voodoo Mountain,” and I’m in complete awe of how this young woman opened up her heart to such a tragic place. She moved to Haiti in her early twenties and decided to give her life away. As I read that, and I listed out the excuses of why I was guarding my heart for a seven day trip to another country, I felt completely ridiculous. I felt humbled by the Holy Spirit..
You see, I have been afraid of what these days will bring. I’m afraid of letting go. I’m someone that loves God dearly and wants to do his work, but yet I’m afraid of truly doing his work this week because of what it might cost me emotionally, spiritually and physically. It hurts to type those words, but it’s the truth. Yet I have seen God chisel away at my hard heart over the past 48 hours. Slowly and surely reassuring me that he is the filler of my heart, and he is the one that gives me the emotional, physical, and spiritual ability to give my life away. It’s through him that I can do that, and so I can rest. I can breathe. I can let go. I can give it all this week because of HIM, and only because of HIM.
Last year I read the book WILD, and on one of my plane rides today I finally watched the movie and I was struck in a new way by her journey on the PCT trail. If you aren’t familiar, it’s a true story about a women who took time away from her life to hike the Pacific Crest Traill, which runs from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific coast. Cheryl, the hiker and writer, has been through terrible situations in life and this was her way of working through it. To be completely alone, and tested to the limits of herself physically and emotionally. As I watched the movie on the plane, I was touched by how much she changed on that journey. Her inward examination on that trip changed her life, and she left the trail a different person.
While on the trail, she was reading a book and quoted an author in saying this, “Denying her wounds came from the same source as her power”. I actually had to rewind the movie and stop and think about this for a second, and it hit me that I have been wounded, and my heart has been hurt from loving those around me, and yet I have the power to move on. For five years I have sat here inwardly declaring my wounds from Haiti and our adoptions. As I parent my kids through their struggles, I’m constantly reminded of my wounds. If Haiti hadn’t kept them from me for so long, they wouldn’t struggle so much. As I heard that quote it hit me, that I don’t necessarily need to deny that the pain ever existed, but I need to get over it. I need to quit proclaiming my wound as an excuse for my apathy to serve. As a believer and follower of Jesus I believe that it’s him that actually gives me that power. He knows my pain, and yet he is gently prodding at my heart and whispering, “let it go.” I can give that pain over to him, and he will not abandon me in my hurt or my new steps. He is my power.
As I lay down tonight I’m completely moved just from my plane ride. I feel a bit closer to opening my heart. The last thing I want to do is to spend 15 hours on a plane on the way home and feel as though I didn’t give myself away. I want to leave all of me here in Uganda, and not fear that I will not be replenished when I get home. Isn’t God like that — He asks us for everything, and He keeps filling us up with more. I think I haven’t been letting go of the wounds from Haiti, in fear that there will be nothing to fill me back up. Oh my lack of faith in my big, gracious God.
Good night my friends from a cute little guest house in Uganda. It’s 1:15 am here and I’m not that tired. Tomorrow we head to Jinja and to Sole Hope, and I’m so happy that my heart is excited to serve.