I’ve been swimming around in a big bowl of awesome, fulfilling and God-sent work. It has been wonderful. Nearly 3 years ago, a friend and I started supporting one girls school fees, today 3 of us are supporting 7 girls in secondary school. My counterpart and I are doing the work with the Go Girls program; engaging young people to think about their culture of male dominance and explore what that means for every individual. My friends and are also finding ways to feed the hungry in Malawi. It’s joyous and exciting working alongside and in the warm heart of Africa. This week I got some big old lemons thrown in my path.
The Peace Corps has decided it is in my best interest to return to the states for a medical evaluation of my back. I am angry, disappointed, fearful, in disbelief. I am trying to discover and understand God’s plan in this. “Why, what, now, and no”, I am too deep, too involved, on the right path. I have been given 45 days of medical leave to have an evaluation, do the treatment recommended and be cleared to return. It seems daunting and so unfair.
Yet, there are people in my life who are helping me slice and dice and squeeze those lemons one by one. My daughters are amazing and a support system like no other. My oldest in prayer with her missionary group and sending encouraging messages. My youngest working the healthcare system for all its worth and saying don’t give up. We know you will go back to do the work that you are meant to do. A bright light is that we will be together for Christmas and they have even decided they will put up the Christmas tree since I will be there. Gotta love em.
I can take my friends and family for granted, knowing they are there, loving me and caring about me. But, when something comes up, I am profoundly reminded that there is no greater gift than family, old friends, and new friends. They surround me with love and hold me up. They encourage and offer whatever I need. I am wrapped in a soft fuzzy blanket of their concern. They remind me of what we’ve already been through together; how we are together to go forward. And don’t despair, they are there for me, whatever the need. They are like an overflowing cup of sugar being stirred into the lemons.
And the people that just randomly pass through my life. Someone I met just this week heard my news. He said, “I was in America once. I see the words, “In God We Trust” on your dollar bills”. When you are in America, all you must do is look at the bill to be reminded. I met someone on the bus and we talked about school programs and he invited me to come to his school in a nearby town, to please bring the girls program to them. Don’t worry, they say, we can see that God has brought you to us.
And even as I am asking God the why, and what is going on, and crying out to him, I am reminded to trust. To be faithful. To know the plan is not just good, but it will be awesome if I just stay the path with him. Since I have accepted Him into my life, even in the past tough times, only good things have come to pass. Walking through the fire is what makes us stronger. He is the one in charge of the lemonade. He will take the bits and pieces, add what is needed, stir it briskly. Before I know it, I will be swimming in sweet lemonade and wondering what I was so concerned about