Can we just be honest for a few minutes?
Can we talk about hard things?
I miss Africa.
But probably not for the reasons you are thinking.
It's been almost a year and a half since I left Africa, and I miss it every single day.
Africa and the way God used it to open my eyes to those in need-- it changed me.
I don't worry about the things I used to.
I still worry plenty, just not so much about myself.
In fact, I think that's one thing that made getting over the chicken pox so hard for me-- for the first time in a year I've really been concerned with my appearance.
I don't say that to mean that I don't get dressed up or don't take care of myself; it's just that I realize there are so many other things about myself that I'd rather focus on making 'beautiful' than my appearance.
I live in a tiny town where I didn't grow up.
We've lived here for two years.
And while I have been blessed to find a handful of true friends here, I so often feel like I don't belong.
My priorities are different.
My heart beats for different things than most of the women in my town.
I'm not better or worse-- just different.
I think about social injustice and the needs of others in the world the way most people in the South think about football (and as a football coach's wife, I can totally say that).
I worry about my daughter who is growing up on the other side of the world.
And most people I know in real life have never been out of the country.
They've never really thought about orphan care or injustice.
Their daughter isn't sleeping in the dirt, and they don't have to worry about whether or not she'll eat today.
I don't say that to talk badly about these people-- it's not that they wouldn't care about these things, they just aren't at the forefront of their minds.
So, while most of the women in town are thinking about whether or not it will snow tonight, I'm thinking of how I can work to help bring my daughter home. What can I do to help increase awareness where I live? How can I help them see?
At the end of the day, I know it's Jesus who opens our eyes to the things He cares about.
But I still feel called to do whatever I can.
Everyone has a cause.
Some are fighting for better education systems.
Some are fighting to stop puppy mills.
Some are fighting to find a cure for childhood cancer.
Some are simply trying to keep their heads above water.
God gives us hearts for different things.
And I am so glad He does.
If we were all just worried about solving one problem, very little would get done.
But it's hard.
It's hard when I post something on facebook about social injustice and only ten people like it, but then I post something my daughter said and my facebook wall all but blows up with likes.
It leaves me feel very alone and very isolated.
It's hard to not feel like my cause is the most important cause.
It's hard to not be bitter or angry when I talk about what's on my heart and am met with a sea of blank stares and vacant expressions.
It's hard when I can honestly say that I felt more at home in Africa than I ever have here.
But even on the hardest of days, I wouldn't change it.
I spent almost thirty years as the girl whose eyes were closed.
I was the girl who, for the most part, was worried about me far more than I worried about others.
I was the girl who was totally clueless in terms of what was going on around the world.
And even though at times I just want to cry in an attempt to fight the urge to 'fit it',
I still wouldn't take it back.
I would so much rather feel totally alone on a daily basis knowing that I'm right where God wants me for now than to live a life that is anything less than that.....even on the loneliest of days.