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Loneliness.

It’s a daily struggle.

A struggle I’ve dealt with before – a struggle that feels more real now than ever.

I often find myself longing for the familiar faces at home. For the comfort of people who really know me. For the ease of long-time friendships.

Evenings bring the end of a work day and the chirping of crickets – they bring rest, recovery, and moments alone. So often, they are more than needed. So often, they bring with them the cravings of true friendship here.

I know without a doubt that I am where I need to be. Where the Lord has placed me. Where I love.

These seasons have come and gone in the past. The Lord has taught me more in these moments than ever before. These moments create a hole in my heart that only the Creator can fill.

They bring me closer to him. They challenge me. They strengthen my faith. They pull me closer to the One who created me – who breathed life into me.

But still, the emptiness of these moments consume me. They force me to doubt my place. To question. To long for a place that I’m not.

In the moments where I feel like I have no one, I’m left with my thoughts.

I have a choice. I can sit in my loneliness and dream of the places I’d rather be – or I can use these moments to press further into Him.

I have a choice. I can waste away in my own pity – or I can choose contentment, choose JOY, choose HIM.

I so often make the wrong choice. It’s a constant struggle. It’s a constant battle. It’s a journey.

———-

This past week gave me a glimpse of all that I miss. While these people were not old friends, they very quickly became new friends. They encouraged me. They made me laugh. They cried with me. They gave my lonely spirit HOPE. I cannot even describe how thankful I am for all that they left me with – emotionally…and the Oreos, too. They spoke truth into my life that I had hardly admitted to myself. They allowed me to be myself from the moment we met. They allowed me to open up with the comfort of a safe place. I cannot speak enough good about the #blogHOPE team. You left a mark here that I can so visibly see – on me, on the other staff, and so many of the beautiful Ugandan souls you came in contact with.

You were a light. You are a light. You are still shining here.

———-

The loneliness can be consuming. It can pull me off course. It can direct me back to Him.

I fight it with everything in me – I embrace it as best as I know how.

It’s a battle – I pray that He wins.

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breathe you in

Inspiration.

1. The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something – especially creative.
2. The drawing in of breath; inhalation.

One word. Two meanings. One life.

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This week, the Sole Hope Uganda Team has the honor of hosting eight amazing bloggers as they journey alongside Sole Hope and invite their followers to experience Uganda with them as they share stories daily. These ladies are not only inspiring writers, but I can now truly call them all friends. They use their voices to display their hearts so gracefully and elegantly. They inspire their readers. They inspire their followers. They inspire me. They make me want to write more eloquently. They make me want to allow others to peak into my heart instead of closing it off like I so often do. They make me want to slow down and just write.

They are walking through so many “firsts” this week. For some, it is their first time in this beautiful country of Uganda. For most, today was their first jigger removal clinic. It’s almost as if I’m reliving it for the first time through them. The expressions on their faces, their willingness to serve, and the smiles exchanged between them and the sweet ebony faces staring back at them. Inspiration. I need not be so wrapped up in the logistics of the day. I need to smile more freely. I need to remember why I’m doing this. In many ways, the experience I’ve gained after attending many jigger removals is irreplaceable – at the same time, I need to approach each removal with fresh eyes. I need to take in the small moments. I need to connect with those sweet faces staring back at me. I need to be more in awe of the One who allows us to do this week after week.

Inspiration – breathing in and breathing out.

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Photo Credit: Asher Collie

The act of being inspired would be nothing without the One who ultimately inspires us. Without His breath in our lungs, we would have no life worth living. His breath is our inspiration.

Inhale.

Inspiration.

Exhale.

Inspiration.

Breathe.