August 05, 2010

America, Day 1

7-18-10
First morning in America.  It took some conscious effort to realize where I was and remember there was someone in the bed with me.  I really had to think about what it took to get in the shower.  I had grown so used to the routine I had in Keta - grab shampoo, body wash, and clothes, head to shower room, grab towel, etc.  I just stood in my bathroom this morning going through that list in my head, reminding myself that everything I needed was already in the shower and that my entire closet was filled with clothes to choose from just three feet from the shower.
While I was in there it occurred to me that I wasn't going to walk out and see Jeremiah, Ellie, Celestine and David, not to mention the rest of the kids.  When I came downstairs I looked out the back window at our plastic chairs and just lost it.  I was two-thirds crying, but one-third laughing!
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We went to the 8:30 service today, for a couple reasons - to see Matt & Tammy and pray over Matt and also because there was no way I was emotionally ready to be around as many people as there are in the 10:30 an 11:00 services.  It felt great to be back at FHC again.  We sang "Liftin' Our Hands Up in the House of God," and I lost it again.  I felt like I was being pulled in two different directions.  The lyrics said, "Doesn't make a difference where I am, as long as I'm with You."  My brain was telling me yes it does make a difference, because I SO longed to be back in Africa, but I also loved being back at FHC, and my heart knew that lyric was true.  I've never felt so torn, but at the same time I felt the Holy Spirit just wrap me in his arms and tell me it was okay.  The rest of the day was a bit of a blur.  I had no desire to go grocery shopping, or balance the checkbook, or even to eat.  I'm very emotional still and physically tired as well.  Just thinking about the trip or about Jeremiah or all the kids at the site makes me want to cry.
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I've been thinking a lot about what God taught me through this journey, and here's what I've come up with so far:
1 - Slow down!  Being on 'Ghana time', as we refer to it, was so relaxing.  There was no rush to get anything done, there was no need to fill every second of every day, there was no agenda.  And. It. Is. Amazing.  Refreshing.  Peacefull.  Relaxing.
2 - Seek God & Follow HIS direction - every day we spend a lot of time in prayer asking God to make our paths clear.  We didn't ever have a set agenda of what we were going to do and He always revealed to us what we should do that day.  Not one minute of our time was wasted - even though (I think because) WE didn't plan it out.
3 - PRAY unceasingly!  My prayer life before this trip was mediocre at best.  Not anymore.  I am in love with the amount of time we spent in prayer.  We were always praying with each other or for each other and the way that it brought the Holy Spirit upon us was felt physically.  God's presence was always on us.  We prayed for healing a lot too and man, how powerful that is!  My faith level jumped quite a bit with all the healing that was going on through prayer!  The boys even prayed away my fever, upset stomach and headache!  It was incredible, indescribable and so amazing to feel the power of God flowing through Jake, Jeremiah and Matt.
4 - Step out!  I learned a few days into the trip why it wasn't in God's plan for Bill to come on this trip... there is no way I would have stepped out the way I did to form relationships if he would have been there.  There were so many times I stepped out of my comfort zone and the rewards always far outweighed any fears I had of stepping out.
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Today has been tougher than I thought.  I just feel like I'm not quite ready to jump in yet.  I miss our mission life.  I miss Matt, Jake, Jeremiah and the bond we have.