Trauma and loss happen to us all. Suffering is a part of life. But sometimes things occur and we don’t know or recognize it as trauma, or as something to be grieved. So we go on living, and eventually these traumas pile high inside us like dirty laundry and the burden begins to take its toll. The scary part about grief/trauma is that eventually it can escalate into cumulative grief which is built up grief after multiple losses which occur on a regular basis or within a short period of time. Think of a physical injury like a broken bone which is re-injured, making the pain more
“I am a confusion of cultures. Uniquely me. I think this is good because I can understand the traveler, sojourner, foreigner, the homesickness that comes. I think this is also bad because I cannot be understood by the ordinary, mono-cultured person. They know not the real meaning of homesickness that hits me now and then. Sometimes I despair of understanding them. I am an island and a United Nations. Who can recognize either in me but God?” – Alex Graham- Three years ago, I landed awkwardly into the USA with six suitcases and $200 in my bank account and spent
Sometimes in between the kitchen and the washing machine, doing the same acts over again with seemingly little result, I wonder if my life has purpose. I used to love my job. I used to love what I did with a kind of maniacal passion. I used to stay up late writing blog posts and used to look forward to going into the office in Uganda every day to hug each of my beautiful staff each morning. I used to love to sit under a mango tree and counsel a struggling woman. I was someone people looked to for answers, I was
Sometimes the days get dark. The January cold seems to blow right through you. Days where you’re not sure you want to get out of bed, and God seems like a dream you had you can’t quite remember. Transitions can be hard. I don’t think I expected that. Expected to find myself in a new place, not knowing anyone, living out of someone’s guest room and on other’s kindnesses, just craving a space of my own. A nook. A place I could crawl into to feel sane. Or like my old self again. A routine I could sink my teeth
“By changing nothing, nothing changes.” -Tony Robbins Five years is a long time. It’s a lot of sweaty bus-rides. It’s a lot of roach killing, and mouse killing, and eating posho and beans. It’s a lot of swatting mosquitos on your legs, and running out of water just as you soaped up your body. It’s a lot of pouring out your life. And it’s a long time without air-conditioning, that’s for sure. A lot of time to fall in love with a place and it’s people. And even more time to love the reality vs. the rosy colored version. It’s
“Even a modest pleasure can be a luxury if its scarce enough—ordering coffee at a restaurant, buying a book, which is why deprivation is one of the most effective, although unenjoyable, cures for the hedonic treadmill.” -Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project- It strikes me that after two and a half months of living in a land full of luxury, I’m ready throw myself back into a place of lack, because of love. And I do look forward to it. To unpacking my suitcase (finally) and settling into my own little home, with my dogs, in the raw beauty and infuriation
And so it begins. My husband just packed the truck full with the little bit of furniture we have. The pink desk. Our lopsided shelves. Now the china bowl from Zanzibar with the crack in it that I love because she said it reminded her of us, is empty on the floor. I remind myself that change is good. Change means progress. But my heart, she is stubborn. I do not have much predictability in this life. Things are never stable on this adventure in Africa, but I’d become attached to this space. This constant, in a universe of alterations.
From the very first time I came to Uganda and God spoke to me about beginning Zion Project, He told me that what we would bring would be different, because what we would bring would be healing of the heart so that people could feel His presence and know His love deeply. After three full years of making Gulu, Uganda my home, I have seen the brokenness and despair, the lack of hope, and the lack of faith and intimacy with God that comes from a wounded heart. A wounded heart which can only wound others. A heart which is marked
“…to comfort all who mourn and provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” -Isaiah 61:3 This is our mission. This is why we began. To bring healing to broken hearts, love to those who were not loved, and comfort to those who had been devastated by war. As this past year comes to an end, and
It is raining here in Uganda. I did not know how much I missed that fresh summer storm smell dripping from the banana leaves, bringing with it the promise of new life. I did not know that is, until I smelled it again, or smelled the chapatti Harriet was making in the kitchen. And I realized how much I belong to this place and how until I saw Lake Victoria’s mist rising up from the African dust, that the joy of all I am and all I long to be, rose up in me. I actually felt something shift in
Writer. Missionary Coach. Recovering perfectionist. I want you to know that you are loved and already good enough. I am about helping people move from brokenness into wholeness. Together, we'll make a more beautiful world.
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