I often feel a bit angsty right before I travel back to Africa. The whirlwind of goodbyes and the joyfully anticipated onslaught of hellos and ‘what did you bring me from America?’. It always starts a day or two before I leave. I turn on the task-focused mentality as I pack up all my stuff, weigh it over and over again, adding a few ounces here and subtracting a few ounces of stuff over there, checking all my lists, and constantly worrying that I am forgetting something of importance. I know the routine well. I don’t particularly like it, but I know how it goes.
My natural tendency as I near departure is to become too task focused that I forget to spend time with God. I forget to stop and say thank you. I forget to say ‘help’ when I am in the midst of the angst. I forget to acknowledge that the reason I am going back to Africa is because God has created a place for me there, and he has equipped me for the job.
The constant transitions of this life I have chosen are wearing me down. Or maybe they are helping me to re-center each time? When faced with much uncertainty and few constants to cling to, God has a sneaky way of reminding me that he is constant. I can always rely on him, and I do find solace in that. Even if South Sudan has always been unstable in my eyes and is even more so now as fighting carries on in parts of the country, even if I don’t know how long I am returning for, even if I don’t know what is next, even if I am returning without teammates, even if.… anything, God remains constant.
So let the angst try to ambush me yet again and let the uncertainty rain down. My God is certain, and even in my emotional ups and downs, goodbyes and hellos, comings and going, he remains constant.