As the hours pass, I am being taken further and further away from the land of eternal summer, my family, the world of palm trees and vibrant green, my home, and dirt roads. My eyes are tired from crying, and exhausted from the sleeplessness nights leading up to this bittersweet day. The day that I so longed for at the beginning of this year, became the day I never wanted to reach. What a testimony of God’s faithfulness.
Today was the day I said goodbye to Togo and to the people who I love so dearly. (for a time…)
I feel like I am leaving behind everything that is comfortable and normal and am about to slam full force into a world that feels much like a vague dream. When I try to remember my life in America it feels elusive, the memories are there but are like a slippery bar of soap and the harder I try to grasp them the more they slip from my hand..
I thank God for bringing me to Togo. I thank God for the godly people he surrounded me with, people who were strangers last December have become my family. My heart is breaking as I think of the life I am leaving behind and I pray that God will bring me back to Togo very soon.
Although I am sad about the things I am leaving behind, my heart is at peace knowing that I must come home. My life is in the hand of God, he makes all things work together for our good. All his works are good. He provided for me to serve him in Africa for one year. One year feels so long when you are standing on the edge of it, but at the end, when you cross the finish line and look back, you see all the ways God has sustained you and strengthened you and the things that seemed so hard in the moment are transformed and become a beautiful part of the journey. And you think, “Wow that was not so bad, it was actually quite amazing. God is good. And I would do it all over again.” A year is so short. Life is fleeting. Lord remind me how fleeting I am!
Just as I prayed for strength, wisdom and courage as I faced the unknown in Togo last December, I pray the same thing as I re-enter American life and culture. I pray that God will help me to remember what loneliness feels like and that my heart will always remember God’s unfailing love and that he is near to the brokenhearted. I pray that God will help me remember all his wondrous works and the unique ways he stretched me and tested my faith in Togo, the ways his Spirit, the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, sustained me. I can now sing with confidence the Ewe song “Vanakpolo! Vanakpo nusiwo mawu o, vanakpo nusiwo mawu o,” (Translation: Come and see! Come and see what God has done, come and see what God has done!) because I have seen and experienced God, he has graciously allowed me to glimpse his glory: I have seen God give strength to a girl whose strength was gone and hope to a girl who had no hope.
I am currently somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean and am SO excited to hug my mom and dad and sweet Lindsey and Max. I am coming home!
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, my saviour God to thee, How great thou art, How great thou art!