I will be honest. There are times when things hit harder here than they would in the States. When I know at the core of my being that the Lord has called me here and I am undoubtedly where I am where I belong and yet, my heart longs to be in other places.
Before I left US soil, I made a point to say goodbye to my grandmothers, just in case something were to happen to them while I was gone. That thought sobered me. I even wrote a blog post about it.
But what I was unprepared for was the goodbyes I DIDN’T say. The grief and pain friends and family would experience from miles and miles away and the best I can offer is an email and maybe a poor skype connection? Praying from here works, but sometimes feels so empty. And then Satan likes to get his sticky fingers in there and paralyze you. Rob you of your joy. Increase the stress and the worry until you can’t focus on anything. Crippling.
Since arriving here in Cameroon, a little under 2 months ago, I have had a beautiful friend miscarry. Another friend have an emergency C-section and hour by hour deal with the emotional nightmare of having a micro-preemie in the hospital. Another friend, pregnant, being asked to abort her baby because of slow inter-utero brain development and possible major repercussions because of it. I had a supporter who is also the grandfather of a dear friend pass away. A sister in Christ who fought a courageous battle over the last 9 months in her beautiful, Christ centered marriage announced last week that her husband was now dancing with Jesus. A victory tinged with sorrow. And then my hometown, who faced 8 deaths of High Schoolers my senior year and a teacher and student last year..lost yet ANOTHER one this week.
My heart is heavy and worn. I’m tired and beginning to feel myself becoming emotionally numb. How can I be there for them? Support them? Love them through the pain?
I can’t. But there is Someone who can.
As I left the hospital compound on a bike ride this afternoon, a few men were also leaving. One had a child in his arms, covered by a simple cloth, but the form was easily seen, small toes bouncing along to the rhythm of the man’s footsteps. The child was being brought home to be put in a freshly dug grave.
It hit me like a ton of bricks.
I cannot worry away the world’s problems or be superwoman. That’s not my job. I MUST give that job back to its rightful owner. As I allow the Lord to take it from me, I will be free to share that freedom with the Cameroonians. To empathize with them in dealing with death. I may not be able to be home to feel, love and comfort. But I am HERE. And I can feel, love, comfort and most importantly show Jesus when they so desperately need hope.
And maybe, just maybe, that time spent loving, feeling, praying, comforting and speaking words of truth and hope in Jesus will result in a celebration someday that they are now with Jesus.