04 Jun The Best Story I’ve Ever Read
Well, I have returned from Africa. Although landing in Africa felt like I was finally arriving to a home I have always ached for in my heart. So at this point in time, I am feeling pretty displaced and homesick. Africa was a whirlwind of beauty & laughter & sunshine & brokenness & hope & simplicity & love. One of those words sounds out of place, right? Brokenness is usually a word that is characterized negatively but I have discovered that it is a beautiful & humbling place to come to in life.
On our first day in Kijabe we were just relaxing and fighting the small battle that is jetlag, dehydration & ankle swelling and we were all sitting around together talking about what we expected Africa to be like and what we wanted to take away from our experience over the next 2+ weeks. When it came time for me to answer I talked about how I really didn’t want to come to Africa with any expectations of how things would be. I knew the sights would be beautiful (for the most part) and that people would be amazing (basically 100% true from the encounters I had). But for my life, I needed clarity. I have no idea what I am doing with my life yet and I (along with everyone else on the trip) am in that place in life when everyone expects you to know what you’re doing. Many of us had the same sort of answer. We want clarity. Maybe even an extra dose of it, please. We are always being asked: What are you majoring in? What will your career be? When do you want to be married? What colors do you want at your wedding? Do you want your kids to be sprinkled or dunked?
I. DON’T. KNOW!
And after 2 & 1/2 weeks in Africa, God taught me that it is perfectly fine that I don’t know. I don’t need clarity for my life. I need to have trust that He has my life in His hands. He knows every twist and turn my life will take & the exact second it will do so. Up until those 2 weeks spend in Kenya, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with my life..I still don’t know exactly, but I do know Africa is in those plans & hopefully it ends up being a big, huge part of my story. But before the trip when people would ask me what I was doing with my life, I would feed them some line about finishing up a couple credits and then transferring to university somewhere & getting my 4 year degree. Pretty much knowing all the while that what i was telling them was a big croc of mess. I love college, I do. And I think it is fantastic and it is such a blessing to live in America and have education at hand so readily. But right now, in this moment, in this season of my life, I do not feel like that is what I need to be doing. I have no idea what I would major in anyway so why would I spend thousands of dollars I don’t have just to fit the mold of the American 20-something? I don’t want to fit that mold, I don’t want the American dream. I want to serve the Lord in Kenya.
Jesus is my clarity. He leads me. And I pray that over time it will be easier for Him to coax me out of the boat, out of the birdcage that has always been wide open & into the vast, amazing, exciting plans He has cooked up for my life. Plans that are so much more extravagant than I have been sitting around trying to piece together and make sense out of for myself. Ohhh, what an awesome truth to learn. Although I know that at times it will be harder to live in a way that shows I trust and believe this when I don’t have the Rift Valley to look out over at the beginning and end of each day. [pullquote style=”right”]My God is the God of Kenya and the God of America & He made everything beautiful.[/pullquote] I will admit though, it is often easier to see His glory & awesomeness in Africa where there are miles and miles of open space rather than here in the states where far too much land is choking on asphalt and McDonald’s grease.
As I was flipping through some of my journal entries from the trip, I was just so excited to read what happened that particular day. This is by far the best story I have ever read. Why? Because it’s mine. God gave me this story. He’s entrusted me to do something with the lessons He taught me & to take action.
I have always preferred to listen to the stories of others, for the most part it is because I just like to listen to things that happen in people’s lives but also because I usually feel as though my stories are somewhat boring or they won’t live up to the expectations others have. Not anymore though, Africa changed my life & that is a giant, awesome story in itself but I also got to see so many amazing things and meet so many amazing people that I am bursting at the seams to tell anyone who will lend me their ears.
I fell in love with everyone and everything at Naomi’s Village. I fell in love with Little Lambs. I fell in love with our team. I fell in love with Rift Valley. I fell in love with African shooting stars and sunsets. I fell in love with hammocks. I fell in love with devo time. I fell in love with Joshua’s smile. I fell in love with Kenyan roads. I fell in love with car surfing. I fell in love with dirty feet. I fell in love with chai time. I fell in love with OKSAT. I fell in love with Martin. I fell in love with the Maasai people. I fell in love with safari weekend. I fell in love with hippo’s night soundtrack. I fell in love with Logonot. I fell in love with RVA kids. I fell in love with Jesus -again-.
Asante sana, Jesus, for the best time of my life so far. <3 Sawa sawa.