It has been a long time since I last wrote, and honestly maybe it’s because I have not been sure exactly what to write. Life has a way of becoming very normal, dare I say mundane, I wake up and go to work each day and on weekends I rest, just like most normal people do.
I was thinking about my usual blog posts, it’s easy to write about the highlights, the fun adventures, the exciting moments of discovering new countries, people and places. And largely that is what I have shared with you to date.
But there is also the other side of choosing to do the type of thing that I am doing that is not often shared so much about. The days where I really miss my family and friends and long to be able to do “normal” things like have a family dinner or hug my mum and dad. To be able to go out for an extended coffee with one of my best friends and just share our hearts for hours or to spend time playing with my friends kids who I am watching grow up on Facebook who really don’t even know who I am. There is the missing of important milestones like weddings, dedications, birthdays of dear friends and family. And lately I have been dreaming of the ocean, which will remain just that, a dream, living in a land locked country.
There are days when this path I have chosen is tough. It’s not all glamorous. There are moments of frustration (regularly) when the power is out AGAIN, the internet is not working AGAIN, there are tensions from cross cultural differences and misunderstandings, its 36 degrees, you are sticking to your seat damp with sweat constantly and there are 100 flies swirling around your head and that is just a normal day in the office. I do have meltdowns being frustrated with situations or overwhelmed with the amount of work to get done (I am human after all). And sometimes it is just plain lonely. You feel guilty about taking holidays because you worry about what those supporting you will think about where their support funds are going, but you honestly need to have breaks and holidays like anyone else to refresh and keep going. You get sick, but you know you don’t have access to any sort of good or reliable medical services, so you just hope you don’t get sick with anything too serious. It would be nice, if going to the grocery store was not the only highlight of the weekend (did I mention we don’t have too many entertainment options here in Zambia?!)
But would I change any of it? Not really. (Maybe if I could import some of my friends and family to come and live with me in Zambia I would!) I just wanted to share a bit of my heart, the part that people don’t normally always see. But don’t misunderstand me; I honestly do love what I do. I love that each day I wake up with so much purpose. I love that each day I get to be a part of serving some of the most vulnerable children in Africa. It’s an honour and a privilege. Its just tough sometimes.
However, in the midst of all this I am so thankful. I am thankful that I get to serve here in Africa in the way I do, I am thankful for the people who support me to be able to do this, I am thankful for the family and community I have around me here in Africa that make the tough days less tough, I am thankful for moments of refreshing where we do get to do fun things like go and watch a football match or spend the weekend hanging out and being a part of a friends family. I am thankful for technology that makes the world seem that little bit smaller. I am thankful that I know so many people pray for me and I do not take that for granted. I am thankful that I have been given this life and I have the choice to be able to use it to glorify Him.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18