11 Months to the Day

I have been home for a week, and I don’t think I have let that thought really settle in my mind. That I am home. That I lived in Africa. That I don’t know what is next for me. It is all very daunting.

More than anything, I find myself wanting to recluse. To hide away and not face the dozens of people in my life who cannot quite understand what just happened to me, no matter how much they would like to.

But at our debrief in Johannesburg, we were shown this clip from Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. I have thought often about this clip in the last week, seeking guidance from the principles found in it.

Although I’ve not just come back from saving all of Middle Earth from the power of evil, it is true that, just as those who stayed in the Shire and continued on in their normal routines, most people will never truly understand what has occurred.

I have been changed. Like Sam, I am braver than I was before this adventure. Like Frodo, I better understand the sacrifices that must happen to bring light into a dark world. And like Merry and Pippin, I understand the power of friendship and love better than I ever have.

I am changed. And rather than hide away, I must clink my glass and live my life with a greater sense of purpose. I must share my story and fight for those beautiful children by sharing theirs. And I must choose to live a less comfortable life – to make hard decisions and depend on the Lord so that He receives all glory from this past year, and for every year to come.

One thought on “11 Months to the Day

  1. If you’re like me, it won’t ever get better. There will never be a moment when you stop wishing to be back with your African family. I lived in Botswana for only a month so I can hardly imagine the heartache you experienced in leaving. But, I have found that there is something special in that heartache. Something wonderful. It is the joy that comes from knowing that my heart has loved people on more than one continent. I found a quote recently that perfectly encapsulates everything about how I have been changed from that trip:
    “You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”
    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It’s nice to know there are others out there with whom I can clink my glass.

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