I can hardly grasp the fact that in a month, I will have been home as long as I was in Uganda, yet those 4 months in Uganda have changed my life forever.
Many people have asked me what has happened since I have been home and what are my plans for the future. The short answer: so much and I am not completely sure.
Since I have been back, I started school again and am in 2 of the 3 classes I have left to take in Pullman. School is going pretty good. It is definitely an odd feeling to be a student again. I may have forgotten the importance of studying for exams, but I was quickly reminded.
I am working 2 jobs, but in a week, I will be back to just one. Next Tuesday, I will be starting a CNA training class in Idaho. It is doing to take up a nice chunk of my time but it will be more than worth it. It will open so many volunteer opportunities and provide me with tons of experience. As a bonus, it will definitely look good on my Nursing school application.
Being back was definitely not what I expected it to be. It was much harder than I could have ever imagined. I changed so much in Uganda and my life was totally flipped upside down. I came back to a world that is right side up and exactly how I left it. As you can imagine, that would make one quite dizzy. The thing I miss the most (other than the people/babies) is the constant ministry. I can totally understand now why so many missionaries come back to the field and end up depressed. It has hard to go from having a life where every second of the day was dedicated to helping someone else to going to school and work for my own good.
I was talking to a friend a few weeks back and he called this time in my life a time of preparation. Jesus prepared for 30 something years before He did what He knew He was here to do. Now, I surely hope that I don’t have to wait another 30 years before I am back in Africa (I can’t even handle the thought of having to wait 30 days!), but if Jesus needed a time of preparation, then I know that I DEFINITELY need the same.
So the future. . . I wish I knew all that it held. A few months back, I got a heart breaking call about my role in an organization. Long story short, God closed one door and I am left waiting for the next to open.
I have been reading this book by Erwin McManus and in his chapter on focus, he says,
“ . . the tough choices aren’t between good and evil, but between all the equally good options out there that are simply not the right paths for you. You have to allow even beautiful dreams to die when they are not supposed to be yours. To make even one dream come to reality, many other dreams have to be sacrificed on the altar of your imagination. I love the insight that the world decide is Latin for “to cut.” Every one of us is a surgeon. We live our lives cutting away every potential future we reject and giving life to the ones we choose. Every choice requires us to sacrifice one or more possibilities for the life we have chosen.”
Recently, I have been looking into a bunch of other organizations and I have been so blown away by what all is out there. I still have a lot of praying to do before I jump into anything, but it is encouraging to know that God has a plan for this dream I have.
Guilt – possibly more painful than loss. Last week in my physiology class, we discussed the lymphatic system. As I sat there listening to what the professor was saying, I realized that if I would have known some of this stuff, I could have helped Mercy out a little more. Yesterday, we discussed the lymphatic system in my anatomy class. That was like the second knife through the heart. I wish that I had looked at the class notes before class and just skipped. But, I didn’t . . .
I don’t know what sparked in me but when we started to talk about swollen lymph nodes and the effects of them, I couldn’t help but ask questions. I wish I would have known what I know now 5 months ago. If I would have stayed in this class last fall, I am pretty sure my little girl would still be alive. It sucks. I can’t help but blame myself. I should have known, I should have done more, I should have saved a life. I keep playing those 2 months I had with her over and over in my mind. At times I was so selfish and lazy. If I would have sacrificed a little more time or been a little more pushy about her health, Mercy could still be here. Her swollen lymph nodes should have told me right then that there was something wrong, but I let it go. I should have known that what Dr. C was going to do was a bad idea and stopped him. That is then where I start to harbor some wretched bitter feelings towards him. If I am learning this stuff in an undergraduate class, he should have known a lot more from medical school. His actions should not have led to her death. I know that I shouldn’t hate anyone, but I the feelings of dislike I have for him are very strong.
I realize now that this is definitely an area I need some growth in. I have to learn to forgive myself and Dr. C. I don’t need to forget though. It is a constant reminder of why I am back in the states and why I am going to school. Motivation? For sure.
Altogether, it has been good to see my family and friends again and I am excited to grow and learn in my time here, but I am even more excited to get back and apply all that I have learned.
My life has been wrecked and I will never be the same.