I leave for Uganda one week from this Thursday. One. Week. From. This. Thursday. That feels so surreal. It feels impossible to put my swirling, whirling feelings/thoughts/emotions/fears/excitement into words, but I'm going to try.
I'm reading a book, Kisses From Katie, that is rocking my world. I've never set foot in Uganda and I feel like I'm already in love with its people, its red dirt roads. The culture, the joy, the faith. I feel it so deep in my soul, like a part of me will never be returning from Uganda. And that makes me really excited, but scared at the same time.
Because I felt the same way before I went to Haiti. And when I returned from Haiti, I was in a pretty dark place. I was so...MAD. Mad at my friends who hadn't gone and seen what I'd seen. Mad at everyone who had plenty to eat but flippantly said "I'm starving" and who had roofs over their heads and 8 pairs of shoes. Mad at God who let me be born in America when so many people are born into unbelievable poverty and strife. I couldn't relate to my life. I felt like I no longer fit into my own life, which is a very strange feeling to feel if you've never felt it. I cried the first time I walked into a Wal-Mart after Haiti. I could barely talk to Matt or put the trip into words. And I'm scared of going there again.
As I dive deeper into the book, I get more and more ready to quit my life. To quit the excess, the entitlement, the belief that things matter, that my job matters, my bank account matters. I already look around my apartment and see so many things I wanted to sell, donate, get rid of. We have so MUCH. Last week I posted about my living room. My cute, "perfect" living room that I was so proud of I checked my phone for notifications all day, feeling so....justified that people thought I had it all together. I want to be proud of my love, instead of my living room. I want to be proud of how I served people instead of the outfits I wear every day.
This blog post is a rambling mess, but maybe you'll get a sense of what's going on in my mind. A rambling, jumbled mess of wonder and sadness and confusion mixed with excitement, anticipation and a feeling of complete and utter inadequacy.
Why on earth did God call ME? I don't feel like I can make a difference at all. What can God do with little, messy, mistake-prone me? and as soon as I think that thought, I realize how silly it is to put any limits on God. Time and time again, he shows us how he uses the least of His people to teach the biggest, most important things. I don't feel adequate. I don't feel equipped. I feel so....small. All I have is a camera, and a willing heart, and some time on my hands. Like the little boy with the loaves and the fishes, I feel like what I have to give is so insignificant. But it's what I have and I'm trying so hard to trust that God will do whatever it is He needs to do through me, with me. I have no idea what that is. But he's a God of big things and beautiful promises and I know He'll provide in majestic ways.
Have I ever told you how scared I am of flying? I'm terrified. I grip the armrests, white knuckled. I'm that girl that you look at across the aisle, knowing that she's two steps shy of tears. Every teeny tiny bump and I'm looking wildly around for the flight attendant. The fear only gets worse the older I get, every time I fly. You'd think it'd lessen, right? Nope. Whitney shared a beautiful quote in our Facebook group this week that really spoke to me. “Sometimes when we are called to obey, the fear does not subside and we are expected to move against the fear. One must choose to do it afraid.” I know without a shadow of a doubt that I was called to Uganda. And that calling includes flying, and flying parts of the journey alone, and it includes the likelihood of bugs and geckos in my bed, and people staring at me strangely and eating weird food and being so very far from everything I know and everyone I love. I'm moving against the fear. Against the anxieties. I'm choosing to jump in, and follow the call, even though I'm doing it a little bit afraid.
I kind of can't believe this is really happening. I'm going to Uganda. In a week.