Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I'm Back to the States

I'm back to the cold, snowy hills of Western New York, back to stable electricity and a refridgerator in the kitchen. I'm back to the quick cleaning of dishwashers and washing machines, back to family close by and the tv just the click of a button away. I'm back to quick internet in any part of my house and hot showers, back to eating less starches and more raw vegetables. I'm back to appointments and soon I will be back to work. I'm back to hustling from one place to the next, to instantly getting whatever I need.

I'm back to the States, and it's just a little weird.

It's weird to be so cold, and it's weird to just walk over and flip on a light switch. It's weird to pull food out of my refridgerator or load my dishwasher. It's weird how fast my clothes are clean. And because life here went on without me it's even weird to be with my family. It's weird to watch tv and not have to walk up a hill to get internet.

I'm back to the States, and it's just a little weird.

Weird is the best way to describe what happens when you step on a plane after leaving your heart somewhere else. I come home and things just aren't the same. And it's not that things aren't the same. Actually in so many ways they are the same. The difference is me. I've changed. I've traveled halfway around the world, and somewhere in transit something happened and a change occurred.

These next few days after coming home are always critical. They can make or break the whole experience. They are the deciding factor in how life will be from now on. Will I allow the trip to continue to change me? Or will I just slip into life again and pretend like none of it happened?

Will I take the stories of all the kids I grew to love, the kids who are struggling with friends, faith, drugs, and so much more, and let it affect the way I live my life? Or will I just move on, pretending it never happened? Will I let the encouragement I gave those same kids be the last words I spoke to them? Or will I keep on encouraging them an ocean away? Will I let the ministry stop when the seatbelt light was turned on? Or will it keep going and growing long after I'm stamped back into the US?

I can say with certainty that just moving on would be a whole lot easier. If I could just pretend I didn't see and hear the things I did, my heart wouldn't be so heavy.

But I can't do that. I don't want to do that. I know that there's a reason for everything God put in front of me during the last three weeks. I don't ever want to forget it. I want it to change me even despite the pain and heartache it can cause. Because if I don't let it change me, then how can I ever encourage anyone else to change?

While at the youth camp, Dr Reuben spoke to the teens. He talked about how so many of them have been to youth camp 4, 5, even 6 times. They've been to camp that many times, but how many times but the question is, have they allowed it to change them? Have they let the things they learned really sink in deeply or have they just shown up? If not, then why come?

That same truth applies here. This was my sixth trip to Uganda. But what good is it if I don't continue to allow it to change me?

So that's what these next few days are all about. Trying to make sense of it all and allow God to continue to mold me.

- Aly

1 comment:

  1. Hi Aly!!! It pleased me abundantly that your friend Karen shared with me your site to follow...

    I live in Nebraska and 3 years ago George and Diane were here for Missionaries Week. I had never heard of AMG International until then. I now sponsor 4 children there and couldn't be as close to them in Spirit as I am tonight reading this.

    The truthful words and heartfelt words you have written are very inspiring...so much so I have shared them with a friend of mine in Chicago...

    Don't stop sharing as God continues to mold us all!! Especially knowing you must have the best biceps and triceps of any female in New York- since there wasn't a gym in Uganda...only hugs!! What a workout we should practice!! :)

    Prayers to you and your family Aly!! :D