Proverbs 3:5-6 –
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
With full intentions and hopes of coming back after my sister’s wedding, for one last month with my dear friends here, God laid it on my heart this past weekend that it is time to go home, and close this chapter in my life on such a high note. Through a lot of prayer and discernment, and lots of conversations with my Ugandan friends I have been serving with and alongside here, God has made it abundantly clear that He wants me to end this chapter well, with so many wonderful memories and stories of His faithfulness, and fully walk into this next chapter of my life and all that God has ahead of me with my upcoming marriage with sweet John Wesley and so much more. Not at all what I planned or thought, and definitely not an easy decision, but I trust His still, small voice and the nudge He placed on my heart. Because, as we all know, His plans are always way better than our own…
Isaiah 55:8-9 – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways.”
As the time got closer and closer for me to head home for my sister’s wedding, the thought of the upcoming goodbyes to my dear friends, like Grace and Alice, Baby Malachi, and my students and co-teacher, Rebecca, was almost unbearable.
After praying and talking with my loved ones here in Uganda, it became abundantly clear that one goodbye was about all my little heart, and their hearts, could handle, and I truly believe the Lord will bring me back to Uganda one day, even if just to visit and introduce my sweet John Wesley to them, if that is God’s will.
But I didn’t want to put any of us through the pain of one goodbye after another, and to fly back after my sister’s wedding just for such a short period of time.
Instead, I believe the Lord is calling me to prayerfully and financially support my dear friends and their families here in Uganda, and entrust them into His merciful hands. Because, at the end of it all, He can care for and provide more for my little ones and friends more than I ever could. I love my students and friends with all of my heart and soul, but He loves them more. Always and forever. And he has them in the palm of His hands.
As my little preschoolers love to sing in the mornings here, “He’s got the wholeeee world in his hands, He’s got the wholeeee world in His hands, He’s got the wholeeee world in His hands, He’s got the whole world in His hands!”
And He does. I have tasted and seen that He truly does.
He loves to care for and provide for His children. And as much as it hurts that this is now my last week here in Uganda with friends (big and small) who are more like family now, it is comforting to know that God has a plan. That He has it all under control. He didn’t ever need me here in Uganda. He simply chose to use me as a tiny part of His beautiful, sovereign plan to bring His love into this part of the world. To spread the same light and hope that He has given to me, and to teach me more about Himself through the incredible relationships He led me to develop and learn from during my time here.
The last four months have been a chapter and season full of so much growth and beauty… more than I could have possibly imagined or asked for. God is so good. And so so faithful. I am so thankful for these four months of serving Him will all of my heart, soul, and mind, and learning what it looks like to trust Jesus with everything that I have and all that I am. To serve His littlest children and see what true joy looks like in Him alone. And to develop best friends who have made a forever impact on my life, who I will miss dearly and pray for and support the rest of my days.
I have been so blessed to have had the opportunity to use my education degree and two years of teaching experience back in the States to serve at the James Place Preschool with HEAL Ministries here in Jinja, Uganda, by working alongside and building up the local Ugandan teaching staff. In particular, my incredible co-teacher during my time here, Teacher Rebecca.
In discussing this incredibly hard decision the Lord was leading me to with her and the Director of our Ministry, it was wild to see how God had already softened their hearts as well, to fully support and encourage me to follow what He was telling me to do. That He has a reason for sending me home earlier than I had originally planned, and that the time I spent loving and serving my classroom of students and fellow teachers was used for His glory, and that all that God had asked me to get done in terms of curriculum planning and teacher development had been accomplished in the past four months, more than enough. It was like God affirming, yet again, “Your time here is done. Well done, good and faithful servant.” I don’t say all of that to build myself up, but to give God the glory in all that He was able to accomplish in and through my time serving here. He is so good. And so faithful.
And to top it all off, I had a sweet friend randomly text me the following verses in a devotional about God being a God of Comfort, and Paul’s sudden change of plans in his own ministry in the Bible, as I was processing this incredibly hard decision and change of plans that God was laying on my heart:
1 Corinthians 1: 12-24 –
“…Was I vacillating when I wanted to do this? Do I make my plans according to the flesh, ready to say “Yes, yes” and “No, no” at the same time? As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee…”
I definitely don’t think this was a coincidence…but how sweet of King Jesus to so timely have someone, unbeknownst to them, text me the exact verses I needed to see in order to confirm what He had already so clearly been telling me.
Hebrews 6:9-10 –
“Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case – the things that have to do with salvation. God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”
A part of my heart will always be here in Uganda, and I will forever cherish the beautiful relationships and memories I have been so blessed to make during my time serving here. But with such a beautiful testimony of God’s faithfulness from start to finish under my belt, I am heading home in a week from today with a renewed faith in God and all that He can and will do through us, if we simply let Him…
Ephesians 3:20-21 –
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
His love has led me home,
both literally and figuratively.
God essentially told me, as I asked for His will to be done and not my own,
“Well done, good and faithful servant. Now, go home, and keep following and trusting me the way you have the past 4 months in Uganda, where I was your daily bread. Your best friend. Your only true comfort. Your source of joy…. Your time in Uganda is done, for now. Close this chapter well, and walk into this new chapter with your head held high and your faith in Me stronger than ever…
I have taken care of you here, and won’t stop now. I am faithful.
My love will lead you home.”
His love will lead you home, too, friends. Wherever and whatever that may be…