Far from home

Today I've been missing home alot....ok, maybe all this week. But for some reason, especially today. When I finally decided to say yes to God and the plans He laid before me 2 years ago, I laid everything in His hands and worked hard for these days where I'd be here and serving the poor and orphans in Mozambique. After answered prayers and bonds released, I found it easy to leave a city I loved, a job that I enjoyed, friends that walked with me whom I loved more than anything, family that has supported me, and the modern conveniences of living in a first world, very affluent country. Until today. The things that make it hard are not the jumping spiders I find in my room, or 3 minute hot-before-it-turns-freezing-cold-showers, or the sometimes 33 kids in the casa dos bebes joining together in a chorus of screams and tears, or the constant sand in my bed, on my floor, in my clothes, and on my feet. It's not even the lack of sushi, or the very unreliable cell phone network, super slow internet, nonexistence of coffee shops, or no heat or air conditioning. No, it's one thing: Missing out on the moments with friends and family that you can never get back.

In the last 4 weeks, I have celebrated with my new community: 2 deaths of beloved children under the age of 9 with endstage AIDs that are now dancing with Our Father, 1 pregnancy of a missionary couple serving here, 2 birthdays of other missionaries, 4 of my tot's birthdays (with one giant cake, candles, singing and dancing, and a giant mess), and an engagement of another missionary couple. I am truly happy for each of these events and celebrated as well, but with the passing of each of these, it reminds me of each of the events that I'm missing at home.

During the same 4 weeks, I have missed out on several birthdays of dear friends, an engaged couple friend due to get married in September celebrating the closing on their first house, Father's day, and my best friend for the last 15 years getting engaged (I have still not seen pictures of your ring...you should get on that). I will be missing out on 2 of my closest friends weddings this summer (one this month) and all the time leading up to them. The hard part isn't that I'm missing out on the festivities and fun. It is the moments you can't get back, the things I want to say in person that I won't get to say except over skype, the hugs, encouraging words, prayers in person, ect that I cannot give during some of the most important moments in my close friends' lives. This is what makes me sad.

When I had these days in Nashville, I used to grab a big quilt, a good book, my Bible, a journal, my mp3 player, and starbucks. Then I'd head to Centennial Park and lay in the warmth of the sun in the middle of the city and just exist...it was calming. When I had these nights at work, I'd go into my baby's room, shut the sliding glass door, turn the lights down low, play some soothing music, kick back in the recliner, and just listen to the sound of the rhythmic ventilator and whirls of the ivs and drips while I prayed and processed things. Somehow even that was soothing. I haven't found that thing or place yet here. I need that safe place. I need to find my sanctuary.

So tonight I finally got around to watching the video clip my grandmother had sent me (thanks so much). I've actually seen this talk by Louie Giglio on laminin in person, but forgot about it until I watched this (click here to view part of his talk: Louie Giglio - Laminin). I needed the encouragement and to be reminded how I am held in His hand and EVERYTHING is connected together for his purpose, interwoven on even a molecular level....a masterpiece that only He could orchestrate. The work I'm doing here is eternal. It does not come without sacrifices and sacrifices wouldn't mean anything if they didn't require something of you or if they weren't hard. Some things are just harder to give up than others. So if you are on this list above, know that I am praying for you, thinking about you, and really wish I could hug you in person right now and speak words of wisdom into your life....perhaps there will be lots of emails coming your way very soon! I miss everyone!


Jessie Jordan said...

Erin...I love you!!! I felt exactly the same way while I was in New Zealand. Unfortunately the hardest part was returning to the states and realizing how much you exactly missed out on. I will keep you as up-to-date as I can on my life.

Going to Nashville this weekend for a wedding of one of my best friends from high school.

I think, pray, and wish I had the courage you have exhibited this year on a daily basis. Keep your head up! I love you!

Courtney said...

i miss you erin!! And I LOVE the talk on Laminin... Im praying for you and I cant wait to talk... and I really really want to come visit and have been praying for guidance on that... Ill feel you in soon!

erin said...

oh pretty puhlease??? do u know how much fun you would have? every last peanut is cute....and smiley and there's really nothing better than a house full of cute tots...at least that's what lured me so many miles from home :) skype date soon please!

Pam said...

Precious Erin,
I am sad for you that you are missing those important events of your friends. But I am so very happy for you in that you are reaping eternal rewards that few of us can claim. At your young age, you have demonstrated the courage and faith that should spur us all on. I was so moved by the picture of Thabo. You are doing a work there that is not fleeting but lasting...eternal. Mind blowing stuff! I am so glad I know you. I love and pray for you.