I’ve had alot of people ask me the same question. “How are you feeling about your trip?” To be honest, my feelings can change at any give moment. The best way to sum it up is two words: terrified and excited. Like any major event in your life, there is a fear of the inevitable change. Change that comes as a direct result of your worldview being forever altered. Excitement because the years of dreaming and hoping are finally paying off.
One dear friend in particular had some very sound advice when I confided some of my fears of Africa not being everything I’d hoped it would be. She said, “let Africa be Africa. Let it be what it is and have no expectations otherwise.” And I love that. Let Africa be Africa. One thing I’ve been very conscious of has been to deal with whatever crap I can while I’m home before I go over there. I KNOW I’ll deal with things over there so I want to get as much as I can out of the way. So I’ve felt my heart doing that. Letting go of the expectations of Africa, my fears of how my heart will be when I return, of what the LORD is orchestrating in my life, the unknowns that have recently popped up making leaving right now very scary, the swirling tension between my heart and my head, the wrestling I do between my circumstances and my faith. All of it. I’m letting it go.
Tonight as I was driving home, it was lightly raining. I rolled my window down and put my arm out to feel the icy rain pelt my skin. As those little rain drops hit my body and left a tiny stinging, I felt alive. The freezing rain woke up my senses and washed away the tension. It reminded me that life has happened and will continue to happen.
I need to stop living in the fear of being hurt and avoiding things because I could get hurt. The reality is – Africa will BREAK my heart. Holding those children will tear me to shreds. Saying goodbye is probably going to be the hardest thing I’ve done. Yet I refuse to not engage because I’ll be hurt. I want to wrestle with the hopeless situations and the hope in their eyes. I want to be uncomfortable at shoeless feet and the most beautiful smiles I’ve ever seen. I want to come home and balk at the idea of living in a world where it’s acceptable that the basic needs of children aren’t being met. I want to break so that Christ can be built in me.
So I’m making room for that to happen. In my heart and in my head. Which means I’m letting the collective you go.
I’m out of my head
I’m out of control
I’m out of my mind again
And I’m out of regrets
I’m letting you know
I’m letting you go. again.