Facebook just asked if I wanted to see my Year in Review. As I looked through what they considered the highlights of my year (and truly, there were many), I thought how they couldn’t possibly know. They couldn’t really know the highs (can my highlights truly be determined by how many “likes” I’ve had?) and they really couldn’t know the lows.
It’s been eight months since I’ve written. Eight crazy months. Writing was once a stress reliever, something that I could pour my life and heart into. Then life became too crazy for words. Overwhelming circumstances paralyzed me, making me speechless – unable to put into words what was happening and how I was feeling. In this past year, my life has been thrown upside down and inside out. I’ve cried, questioned everything, felt lost and lonely. These last months have been some of the most stressful of my life; a rollercoaster that I thought would never end. It took me to the heights and depths. It’s a ride that I’m still trying to make sense of.
The year began with hope and anticipation with a dose of fear of the unknown. I was embarking on a huge task: building a boarding discipleship school. The unknowns were many but God had made it clear that He was with me. I had done administrative work for years and knew well how it drained me. I reluctantly put on my administrative hat again to build this school – happy that it was only for a season and then I could at long last do what I knew God had created me to do. I quickly became overwhelmed and drained – but kept pushing forward. Days. Nights. Weekends. The work couldn’t stop because there was just so much to do. I reached the end of my rope.
It all came crashing down on a Tuesday in August. One thing after another kept going wrong and more and more things kept being added to my already overflowing plate. Through sobs, I kept repeating, “I can’t do this”. My field leadership spoke wisdom into my life. They saw what I couldn’t see: that instead of decreasing, my administrative role would only increase. With that, they strongly advised me to put the school on hold and see how I could do what I’m passionate about, instead of what drained me. That sealed the deal.
The years of dreaming. The 8 months of intense planning. All gone. I left that meeting feeling two distinct emotions. First, grief. I was mourning the loss of a dream. The loss of months of work. I felt like I had been on a high speed train and it had just derailed. I was lost and confused. I had so many questions, many directed at God. Second, relief. I had multiple To-Do lists that had been weighing me down. The joy of walking back in my house and tearing those up? Ah-mazing. Knowing that I no longer had to do what completely drained me but could choose to do what filled me? Wow, who gets to do that? I still feel honored that God is letting me do just that. I feel like I dodged a bullet and am getting a second chance. Luckiest girl in the world, right here.
I remember when I was raising support to come back to Uganda, I excitedly told people that I was at last going to do what I felt God had created me to do. Realizing that I was headed in the opposite direction was shocking and eye-opening. It made me even more determined to discover what God has put in my heart to do.
I’ve been picking up the pieces of my life since August…and these past months have been a highlight that even Facebook can’t see. As I’ve stepped into a new unknown, God’s been opening doors in ways that I couldn’t have ever seen, in ways that I could have never opened on my own. He does that. A lot. As much as I know that, it’s stunning to watch Him put everything into place.
As I tried to make sense of what God was doing with this journey, I came up with one statement, a statement that was the deepest cry of my heart: simanyi, naye Katonda amanyi. It means: I don’t know, but God knows. This was no flippant “I don’t know”. It became a cry of surrender and a declaration of trust in the One True God who knows when I don’t, who is faithful and loving. My guide in the unknown.
So, 2014, here’s what I’m hoping for: a little less rollercoaster insanity (please?) but a year full of doing what I know God has created me for: discipling girls and living in relationship with people.
Excuse me while I throw away my administrative hat.