I think the honeymoon stage is over.
You know when something is new and exciting? You take pictures and want to talk about it all the time? When that stage is over, it’s not really all that bad. I actually kind of like it, because it feels like normal life. However, it seems that with “normal life” comes more frustrations and annoyances.
The past week or so has been tough, and I keep thinking to myself that this isn’t as exciting as it used to be – ha! I am someone that gets very easily excited over the simplest of things, and I try my best not to get frustrated over things I can’t control (like the power!) so I don’t mind when things just start to feel “normal” but I do find that it takes a bit of a toll on me when things don’t work out the way you planned…especially when it’s happening over and over.
I don’t even know where to start because like I’ve mentioned before, there is nothing particularly bad. I think, actually I know, that a lot of how the day goes has to do with my attitude and what I allow to bother me, and what I try to just let go. But there are days where it does just feel like too much. Where I keep thinking about how easy and nice it would be to go back home where the power is on all the time, where I don’t have to second guess if the food I’m going to eat is expired or gone bad, where I’m not faced with many cultural differences that lead to miscommunications, where things move at a quicker pace, and where I can just quickly run into a store to buy something without having to wait 20 minutes in line. And believe me, I KNOW that I don’t have it bad. I know that there are people in much worse circumstances then me. Honestly speaking though, it can just be hard sometimes.
I just came home from Zimbabwe last night, and the visit to the VOH there was so nice! I had such a nice time working with Nancy and Sergio, Everlyn (the VOH Kitwe director) and Rev. Zowa and his wife (the director of VOH Zimbabwe). The week leading up to my visit though was what I had mentioned earlier. I felt anxious, annoyed, frazzled and each day I kept thinking “I want a do over! I need this day to end so tomorrow can start”. That didn’t seem to make a difference – because each day felt the same.
What I did finally realize though was that although the week was busy, and lots of things had to get done, I spent very little time with the Lord – having quiet devotion with Him. As I get older, I learn more and more that He is my calm and my peace. When I try to live my life without Him I become all of those things that I mentioned before: frazzled, annoyed and anxious. The circumstances don’t change, but my perspective does. I’ve had some of my best days even with car problems, waiting in long line ups, miscommunications and no power – why? Because I’ve given my day to the Lord and trusted in Him when things didn’t look the way I wanted. Once I stop putting him first, those circumstances can really bring me down.
Over and over again I think to myself that God needed to send me to a place like Zambia – a place that has been experiencing power problems for over a year now. With the power out and a dead computer and phone, it forces me to slow down. It’s still difficult at times – it’s so easy to think of all the OTHER things you would rather be doing, or things you feel like you need to be doing, BUT, I’m learning more and more that those things can wait. They need to wait.
And with that, I’m reminded of one of my favourite quotes from Elisabeth Elliot:
“The secret is Christ in me. Not me in a different set of circumstances.”