It Has Been 64 Days Since I Left Uganda…

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..Somehow it feels as if only a few short weeks have passed since we left the land with the red dirt and a slice of my heart.

I try to take time to live a bit of life before I publically scribble my thoughts in cyberspace. I realized I hadn’t shared for a few weeks about my current status and specifically about my okay-ness with God; whom I hold both responsible for giving me life and giving me the privilege of knowing the little lives we left in Uganda. He and I have had words over how it all went down; but my words are filled with less venom in recent days. Our current status (His and mine)–is at times dicey, but the projection for long term okay-ness is quite good.

It felt so insincere to not legitimately feel the feelings. I wondered if those around me might be uncomfortable with my not okay-ness? My tantrums, grief, and depression were what I refer to now as the only appropriate response. It is like children playing with a kickball–the ball lands on a nail and what happens next? It falls to the ground…flat. Done. It doesn’t go another inning or bounce back up in the air for more fun. The ball is in need of repair…it will require a personal “time out” from the game to fill back up. The past few weeks…let’s call it months…have been a time of refilling.

My darkest days at the beach were spent feeling flat. I recall days when Chris’ best friend–with whom I can never get enough time–came–and I went to bed early. Food brought comfort. Nature brought comfort. Chris and the kids brought comfort. But my heart remained solid lead. The world around me was constant rain. I devoured books with weighty content…not a single light and fluffy beach read could be found on my nightstand. I forced myself to feel the feelings. I made myself ask the hard questions. I gave myself permission to go there.

I remember the day the clouds lifted. It was when I posted some of my gut honest questions that had been filling the pages of my journal. It wasn’t new thought–it was the same thoughts rolling over and over in my brain. When I pressed “publish” hurtling those questions in to the universe, a hundred pound weight lifted from my chest. I gave myself permission to go there and then gave myself permission to share with you that I had gone.

There were other things. A lot of reading and writing and walking and running. I even wrote words I eventually put in to an ebook* about seeking God when He feels far away. When other senses refused to engage I ate food that made me feel alive if even for a moment. Not endorsing this behavior–actually continuing this habit can make other things worse in the long run–but it was part of the coping…and it served its purpose. For the past 64 days I have felt the feelings, moved through the motions, and attempted to engage the only appropriate response…

Then there was a conversation with an old friend. I hope to share more of this story in detail, but let’s just say this friend was not given a free pass in the pain department. The darkness that overshadowed her young life for so long made me wonder how she made it out alive? She is a survivor. (I mention in my introduction to my ebook–I love survivors–and if I write another book I hope to write a chapter or two about this woman.) She is not only a survivor, she found God. Or God found her…they are now friends.  She places her hope and trust in something bigger than herself.

One of my greatest fears is not my personal distrust of God or dealing with the suffering surrounding our story. I am fine. My fear is for the hearts of the little ones who are too young to understand. Their next most honest and natural step is to hate the God who allowed such tragedy and brokenness to fill their world. And no one would blame them. My friend–the survivor–spoke to me with words so honest and true I had tears in my eyes receiving them. My friend told me of a God that broke through, despite her tragic childhood story. My friend used the word, “redemption,” concerning the stories these little ones have lived. A word I have refused to whisper on my most hopeful of days. I just don’t know if anyone will see it this side of heaven, but my friend–the survivor–believes I will. This friend was sent by God to say words to me…words I needed to hear but no one else could speak. She had earned the right in my life to say the things I was struggling to receive. Her story, her healing, her okay-ness, her friendship with God…made me believe He was involved, active, and in turn, has not forgotten the little ones I will never forget. It is no accident, no coincidence, this friend delivered the messege…God picked the only person I would begin to listen to on this subject. He’s smart like that.

It has been 64 days since I left Uganda. And I am okay. The reading, writing, running, walking, eating, crying, laughing, and the counsel of a woman who knows the confusion of childhood trauma have done wonders for my soul. I am praying for you too. When your ball falls flat it really messes you up. You wonder if the whole game is useless…if there is any point in repair? Then when you commit to the process, you wonder how long you will feel as though you are operating through life with a huge gaping hole? You wonder if you will ever function properly again. You wonder a lot of things.

I am being refilled…day by day.

And I will re-enter the game. Sooner rather than later…cause if my survivor friend says she didn’t stop playing…I have no reason to think this story is beyond repair.

May You Be a Blessing and May You Continue to Search–

Jenni

*Some friends said they had a difficult time downloading my ebook. If you are had trouble, please try again: HERE.

If you find it difficult to read things in ebook form…or continue to have technical difficulties but are interested in reading the book, I am considering printing a few hard copies. Feel free to email me if this might be something you would be interested in receiving.

 

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