Friday, September 14, 2012

How was Uganda? 

This is the question I am asked oh so frequently by family, friends, strangers, and everything in between. They mean well, really they do, but they don't want to see me break down into tears, share my entire heart, all of my trip, and tell them how Uganda was. 

My trip to Uganda was absolutely amazing. I love Uganda with everything in my heart and I long, literally long for the day I return. BUT Uganda was by far the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. My heart shattered into fourteen hundred million pieces. I prayed before going to Uganda that God would break my heart for what breaks His, and He did. He ruined my life process. Completely. 

Now, ruined life might sound bad to most people, but it's not. I promise it's not. He ruined me for the better. I want Jesus. I want Uganda. I want to dance with tons of dirty little brown feet on bright red dirt and sing loudly to Jesus thanking Him for what He has done. In the midst of nothing. I want to kiss dirty little foreheads, and hold sad little ones, and bandaged cuts and scrapes and love. Simply Love. God ruined me for Uganda. 

He gave me a new view on life and the things that matter...that TRULY matter. Not my clothes, or shoes, or friends, or anything else. He made me realize that i'm spoiled, selfish and usually only consumed with myself and the things of this world. It's sad. I want to have a heart like Ruth. Ruth lives in Uganda with her family. She loves Jesus. She has very little on American standards. She eats about one meal a day and lives in a small house made of brick. She has no electricity or running water or even abundant food. She has nothing, but to her she has EVERYTHING. She has Jesus and parents and siblings. She sings beautifully and lifts her voice to Jesus thanking HIM for the blessings in her life. What if we lived like that? Thanking God for our air condition, electricity, abundant food, family, cars, schooling, and everything in over abundance that we have? How different would life be? What if we were truly Jesus to those around us? What if we loved recklessly, the way HE calls us to? What if. What if. What if. 

I said this to Ruth my last day with her in Uganda this; "Ruth you are always so happy and you sing so beautiful" and she responded; "How could I not be happy? Do you see how Good God eees? He loves me and you! He blessed me with my voice." 
I was taken back. This little girl at 9 years old understands more about God and His love than I could ever hope to. I'm in awe of God's goodness. In Awe. 

I saw Jesus in the face of a little boy. A little boy who has known nothing but this broken world. For 2 weeks I was blessed to be this little boy's 'Mama' and if given the chance, I would be his Mama for the rest of time, but God's plans aren't always ours. R is an orphan and will be an orphan. If God sees fit, HE can move mountains and give R the forever home he is so desperate for and if He doesn't, I will praise His name for knowing the days of R's life long before he was ever formed in the womb. While in Uganda, I made sure he knew he was loved. I would cuddle him and rock him and sing to him. I told him I loved him and that Jesus loved him, too. I spend my days dreaming of his big brown eyes and his little hand holding mine as he waddled along beside me. I miss him. I miss his smell and his voice and everything about him. I saw Jesus when I saw R and I am forever grateful. 

Since coming home from Uganda, I have been taken back. I love Uganda. It's all I talk about. {seriously, ask my friends} All I think about and it is simply the place my heart belongs. I know it.  I love America. I love the American life. I love my car and my family and my home, but I love Jesus even more. I fight with myself daily over a life in Uganda or a life in America. I have time, I know but I am a planner. I love to know how things will go, but that's not God's plan. In church I was inspired by our music directors prayer. "God please help us to realize you don't care about our happiness, you want our holiness." 
"Wow, how true" I thought. God is so not concerned with Ashton and her American WANTS. He is concerned with my love for Him and His people. He wants His holiness through me and all of me, all the time. 

and that's how Uganda was. It was amazing, beautiful, messy, perfect, and so hard. I'm in love. 

"i consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task that the Lord has given me." -Acts 20:24

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