First, let me start by saying that I just checked my blog stats, and I had over seventy hits while I was gone. Wow. Thank you so much for reading this and for caring! I have so much to share and so many pictures to post and so many thanks to make. Those will all be coming in abundance soon, but before I can do that, I kind of need to throw up my emotions on this blog. Be warned: this post will not be for those with little patience or tolerance for ramblings and run on sentences.I don't know if you remember, but last year, this time was really hard. I wasn't ready to leave Ethiopia and for the first two weeks of being home, I struggled everyday with depression and with wondering why I wasn't in Ethiopia. When I woke up, I'd calculate what time it was in Ethiopia and try to figure out what my friends were doing. Every time I tried to do school or talk to friends or clean my room, a little voice would say, "You're going back to your normal life... you're going to forget Ethiopia." I was so paranoid of forgetting Ethiopia that I wouldn't let myself slide back into my life. God was so faithful and so near during that time, however, and after about two weeks, it started to get better. It's bittersweet to read my journal for those two weeks - I was so devastated yet God was so good. Here's what I wrote in my journal (last year) on my first day home,
"What to say? It's been a rough, ROUGH past two days. I just can't believe that it's over. All of a sudden, it'll just kind of spill over me that the trip is done. And I can't get myself back to normal. First of all, I'm exhausted, and secondly, I feel like I'm betraying Ethiopia and my trip if I started a normal life. How can I unpack and run up and down the driveway when I know that Ethiopia is out there right now? I've been crying almost nonstop since I got home. I cried when Grace handed me my YEAH stuff because I just don't care anymore. I cried when Zeke asked me to wrestle him because after spending two weeks in Africa, I can't wrestle. And I cried when Mom asked me how I was doing because I feel so hopeless, devastated, and unable. It's like I'm homesick - but for Ethiopia."So if that was how I felt last year, this year has been quite different. When it came time to leave Ethiopia this time, I was sad, and I could have stayed longer, but I felt done. Emotionally, I was drained. Physically, I was tired. And spiritually, I was ready to get back to an English speaking church. I feel like God used me more on this trip, so it seems kind of weird that I wouldn't be as sad to leave. I think though, that this trip was much more emotionally deep than last year, and as a result, I was (am) just exhausted. I felt done. I still love Ethiopia but I felt done. Last year, for whatever reason, I didn't. But this time, I did, and now, honestly, I'm not too heartbroken to be home. Which is weird, and kind of hard for me to say. I actually wish I could tell you that I've been crying non-stop and that I am begging God to take me back ASAP. That seems like what my reaction should be. The truth is that, yes, I'm sad, and that, yes, I've cried since being home, and that, yes!, I loved the trip, and that I'd love to go back, but also that I was ready to come home, and that I felt done, and that I'm glad to be home.
However, with a minimal-tear-shedding re-entry comes a load of pain. If last year, Satan was trying to get me to despair, this year he's trying to make me doubt. If last year he was saying, "You weren't ready to come home. You should still be in Ethiopia. You can't do anything at home," then this year he's saying, "You're not sad to be done in Ethiopia. That means you don't love Ethiopia. That means that you're not called there. You don't care and you weren't meant to be on that trip. You spent two weeks in Ethiopia and you don't even care." And that's almost worse than the despair.
So please, please, PLEASE pray. Pray that God would continue to affirm that I was supposed to be on that trip, and that God would break my heart for Ethiopia, and that I would not forget what I saw. Pray that I would be sad. I don't want to feel nothing. I want to be heartbroken. I want it to feel real. It doesn't really, right now. So please pray. Thank you for everything - and be watching for more from me.