Sunday, December 7, 2008

well, ladies and gentlemen, there has been a big change of plans in my time here. when i arrived here in February, i could never have foreseen this happening but i have changed my ticket to go back to the States. instead of leaving on February 11th, i am now leaving just three short weeks from today on December 28th. there are too many reasons for me to list as to why this decision was made but i know [even in the hard times and crying and second guessing] it’s the right decision.

i have learned more than i could have ever imagined about humility and doing things in a more dependent way…in a way that puts the pressure off of myself and onto completely dependence on the Lord.

being here in uganda for ten months has done an explainable number on me. there have been changes that are good and i will be forever thankful for the trials and fears i have gone through and overcome. but there have also been things that have been wearing on me more than i thought. i love this country and the people, in the deep parts of my heart, i do, but as i [reluctantly] told the Suubi ladies yesterday afternoon, i need a break. honestly, i don’t know what that means and what that will look like in terms of coming back here, but i know that a break is needed.

as i sat on my bedroom floor on Thursday morning with morgan, i was able to work out a lot of my thoughts and be reassured that i am not alone in all that i’ve feeling. people have been in my position before and i think it’s easy for me to be tricked into thinking that i’m completely alone. it’s a lie and i know that i can’t believe it because if i continue to do so, all that will happen is that i’ll gain a growing sense of i’m a failure and i’m weak. it’s easy to let the small voice of the Evil One tell me that everyone else is doing it and if i can’t do it, then i’m not good enough. in those moments, i am so thankful for my mom, my josh and my friends, who are quick to remind me that, that’s not the case.

living here in Africa for 10 months has opened my eyes to so many things. one of them being that ignorance is not bliss. living here i have been able to feel more of the weight of this place and in a strange way, i am thankful for that. i would rather have my heart exposed to hard things that cause a girl to think rather than just turn my head away. being here, living here, has forced me to not be able to turn my head. i have had to face, head on, the reality of this place and at times it has been overwhelming hard.

as i leave this place and go back to kansas to rest and get my head on straight, i will be doing my best to keep my heart bowed down and my head held high. i need to walk out of here with my head held high, knowing that God is proud of me and doesn’t view me any differently because i’m needing to return to rest and recoup but i need to keep my heart in a humble position. though i’m leaving, the learning and need for humility will not change. i need to process everything my eyes have seen and everything my heart has been pressed with.

i ask for your prayers in the upcoming 3 weeks. though i know it’s the right decision, it’s already been proven to be a hard decision. but the right things aren’t always easy and fun. i am needing a whole bunch of grace and reassurance from the Lord. if i have learned anything over the past months it’s that being the ‘strong person’ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be but i do ask that God would give me some strength in my good-byes to the Suubi women. i want to enjoy my last weeks here with the other volunteers as well as josh.

“the love of Christ is rich and free…
no earth or hell can it remove.
as long he lives, his own he’ll love.”


Auntie Amanda said...

Oh Julie.
All I can say is that my prayers are with you. I wish I couldve shared some of your last few weeks, but I know our paths will cross again anyways. I love you lots and lots.

Amber said...

Praying for, ironically, I know exactly how it feels.

auntie katie said...

oh, the beauty of the paradox of the gospel: stregth found in weakness, control found in dependancy,power found in helplessness.

i will be praying for your heart sister.

Bethany said...

You are not a failure. You have done what few people could or are willing to do. You have laid your life down again and again to serve others, in a culture far different from the one in which you were raised. You have stayed the course and run the race, and if you are to go on, to continue doing works like those in which you have been engaged these last ten months, you must rest. It's hard for anyone to be constantly faced with the harsh realities of poverty and war, and I'd honestly be more concerned if you didn't need a rest.

Bless you, Julie, for the work you've done these past months that I, for one, am not currently in a position to do. I am certain you have been a blessing to the people of Uganda and your fellow volunteers. Your heart is one of the most beautiful I know, and I am proud to call you my friend.

Love you and will pray for you as often as I think of you, that the Lord will comfort you and guide you these next weeks and months.


P.S. If you've any reason to visit North Carolina anytime soon, let me know! :-)