Every single person that I have told that I’m going to Africa that has been there themselves tells me the exact same thing. They say with such excitement, “you are going to fall in love”. EVERY.SINGLE.ONE.OF.THEM.
If we happen to be face to face they all do the exact same thing as well. They turn their head just a bit and before they say a word, it’s almost like they sigh because they have no words. Their words fail them because they love this place so much. They will reach out and touch my arm and then tell me how much they love it, and that I too will love this place.
Then when I tell them that I’m visiting Uganda and they have been there they can’t even control themselves. So much love for this country.
Every single time I smile and tell them that I can’t wait, but on the inside I’m dying. Nervous. Scared. Afraid.
I told my friend Amanda that I was nervous and when she asked why, I was completely embarrassed.
I’m nervous about falling in love with the place. I’m guarding my heart.
Sounds awful, doesn’t it?
You see, my heart hasn’t been moved for another country in many years. I fell in love with Haiti in 2006, and after that my journey with that place was a bit rocky. I told you about my love/hate relationship with this country and how going back in 2013 was so scary and so healing for me all in one. What I’m about to say sounds completely ludicrous and I know this, but bear with me here. I was hurt by Haiti and I don’t want to get hurt again.
There I said it. Sounds completely idiotic I know this. How weird is it to say that a country hurt you? But that’s how I’m feeling today, and I tell my kids all the time that you can always say how you are feeling even if it might not be right.
Going to Uganda on this trip makes me nervous. What if I do fall in love with the country, the people, the ministries there. All of it makes me nervous. What is God going to show me while I’m there? What is he going to reveal about my heart, about my consumerism, about my lack of faith? All of that is hard to hear, and I’m fighting it. I know God will break me, and I pray all the time for God to break my heart for what breaks his, but today I’m nervous.
My biggest two fears right now are that #1 I’ll be guarded the whole trip and miss my chance to love this place, and #2 that I will love this place. You see I’m one big contradiction here. I want to love this place, I truly do, but that scares the crap out or me. I did that once before and my heart has never felt the same from our years of visiting Haiti.
It’s like a woman that gets hurt by a guy and then never feels as though she can trust another guy with her heart again. I feel that way, and guys I know it’s stupid, I truly do. BUT I am still so scared of what waits for me when I step off that plane.
As I type this right now, I feel stupid. I feel vulnerable for saying this. Tears are streaming down my face as I think about all my trips to Haiti, and now stepping out and heading to a new far off land to do ministry.
So, I’m here before you readers telling you that I’m nervous about what waits for me across the ocean. Would you pray that I would trust God in this area. Honestly what’s happening here is that I am trying to control things to make sure I don’t get hurt emotionally, and I want to let it go and trust God in this area.