“My feet stand on level ground; in the great assembly I will praise the lord.”
So I turned 26 this week. A solid number. That morning I read Psalm 26, it’s a thing that sort of slipped its way into my family. That last verse got to me. Because I gotta be honest with you. My ground doesn’t feel quite level. It feels like hilly roads into the unknown. It feels much more like a very muddy slippery slope.
It’s been a year since I quit my daily writing. Ever since that 365-day writing adventure, I have had strong tendencies to process through writing. I just usually don’t share it with the whole world anymore. Most people around me understand that quitting isn’t always a bad thing. The people that really care still reach out to ask how I am doing. But I also got the honest feedback that people miss that little sneak peek into my thoughts and feelings. That walking with me through the days was comfortable, encouraging and supportive. Knowing you’re not alone in all the weirdness complications of life is kinda nice.
But I have to be honest with you. Sharing is easy when your life is Instagram pretty. When the wine is flowing, the friendships are filled with laughter and the days are long but energizing. It’s easy to write and hit the ‘publish’ button when life is on a high. I was in that good place a few months ago. Comfortable in my job, happy to be in Uganda, some awesome connections in my life and excited for the future. Read it here. I promised I would write more. But I didn’t. Here’s why.
Life has kinda been a pain in the ass. Honestly. A little while after I wrote that last blog, I had a bit of a health scare. Sharp pain in my left breast. Worrying enough that the doctor wanted to do some serious check-ups. Thank God it turned out to be nothing serious or harmful. I am completely fine. But it shook things up. And that wasn’t the end of some serious muddy sliding.
The day I got the call from the doctor that everything was okay, I got another email. This time from the immigration services in Uganda. My work permit was rejected. I had 30 days to leave the country.
Bam. Again a hard crash into reality. So much for the ‘cheers people’ that I had ended that previous blog with just days before.
It’s been a few months since that email. Lot’s has happened. And nothing really. I am still in Uganda. Can’t leave the country, because the appeal process for my visa is still ongoing. And I don’t know when the final decision will be out. I have no clue if I should just stay and wait or move on.
So there you have it. I’ll spare you all the details. I’ll leave out of all the tears that I did cry for thinking I had to leave the country, for having to cancel a trip home to see my family, and for not knowing where my future, even my present, is supposed to be.
I wish I could write you a beautiful story about how faithful God is, how my trust in Him is stronger than ever, how I am sure that things will all fall into place. My head knows all of that stuff, but my heart doesn’t feel it. My heart feels like it’s going through a storm and I am in a little boat tossed and turned by the wind trying to hold on to the ropes in order not to drown.
It’s a Sunday evening. I am tired. I haven’t had some proper time off in 6 months. (Apart from one day which I spent on a job interview. Got the job, turned it down. Part of the details I am leaving out today.) I am wearing a hoodie, sweatpants and I am sitting on the couch with some dry crackers, a beetroot juice I just made and I am lost.
“How do you know when God talks to you? How do you know it’s not your own voice speaking to yourself?”
One of the teens in my church asked me that question a few Sundays ago when we started the new youth ministry season. Little did he know that that question is all too real for me. He was looking for answers that he hoped I would have. But I don’t. I keep up a strong face when I am out there. But there are more and more moments when I just completely drown myself in work. Moments when I want to curl up in my bed, cry and just stay there. Moments when I want to scream out to God. Asking Him why the *$!@* He’s not giving me some answers about where I should be. How on earth (and in heaven) it would be possible to move mountains? Why this is all happening and what point it. Cause I don’t really see a point in all the uncertainty.
Allow your doubts and question to dance into wisdom and truth.
Reading that, gave me that little spark that all isn’t lost. That I am not lost. But that I am already found. That Grace found me first. There are little winks from people, heaven, someplace. Like text messages saying: “I don’t think you need to hear this, because you know. But it would really be a loss if you would go.” Or a song like Lauren Daigle’s ‘This girl ain’t going anywhere’. (I actually am not even allowed to go anywhere, but she didn’t know that when writing the song.)
Maybe I don’t need to see the point right now. Maybe it’s not the time to desperately find God’s Voice. I guess He will make Himself heard when I need to hear. He will make Himself be understood when I need to understand. He will make Himself be felt when I need to feel. He will move a mountain when mountains need to be moved.
I will hopefully be climbing a mountain in a few weeks. I’ll keep you posted about whether it’s gonna move. But I’ll be happy if the miracle is just in finding level ground on the slippery slopes. So my head will find some wisdom, my heart some truth and my feet will dance again.