I have been back from Malawi a few short days and have been processing my second trip. I assumed that coming home would be easier the second time, I was wrong. Once again, people have been asking me about my trip and once again, I have no words. I don’t know what to say or what stories to tell that would adequately portray the people of Malawi; how they live, the way they have stolen my heart and the work that God is doing there. There is nothing more frustrating than not being understood, especially when it is something that you are SO passionate about.
Jesus has used my trips to Malawi to completely ruin my life, in the best possible way. He continues to challenge me that His plans are so much bigger and greater than mine. (Jeremiah 29:11) I did some calculations and found that I have spent thirteen weeks of my life in Malawi. I have been alive for 2000 weeks. So the question is how can these thirteen weeks have been the most impactful? Well, Malawi has been a place where I have been at my best and at my worst. I have laughed, cried, matured and spent time with some amazing people.
On the night before I was to come home, I was lying in bed trying to sleep. All I could do was fight back the tears and think about what was next. Then it hit me, God wanted to talk to me. He wanted my full, undivided attention even if it was two o’clock in the morning. So, I crawled out of my sleeping bag, and sat under the breathtaking African sky and began to pray. I prayed for understanding, for clarity. I wasn’t ready to leave yet. What about the CHE? We were learning together and bonding in an amazing unity. What about the 45 orphans I had become attached to, they each had a part of my heart?
I had a millions questions, if I feel more at home here than at home why do I have to leave? What was His plan for me next? What country? What people group? What mission’s organization? While I was sitting out under the stars, surrendering all this to God, I ran out of words (if you knew me, this never happens). I was literally speechless. It was at that moment that nothing else mattered, not the stresses at home or the big decisions that needed to be made. Right there, under the crisp African sky, God said three simple words to me “I’ve got this”. With those words came overwhelming peace. Immediately Proverbs 3:5 came to mind, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding.” It made sense now. I don’t need to know all the answers because He does and I can rest easy.
As I write this I do not have all the answers. But these things I do know. Malawi has been one of the stops on my journey and I believe I will be there again sometime in the future. I also know that God has given me a heart for the hurting, abandoned and oppressed. He is only asking that I be ALL in for the adventure, wherever He takes me and the answer to that is, “yes”.