12 months. 52 weeks. 365 days. 31,536,000 seconds.
A year ago today marked the beginning of a new journey. A year ago today, I stepped off the plane from Liberia, excited to meet my five day old nephew. I was tired [exhausted] and ready to be home. But coming home was scary. I was leaving Liberia behind. I was walking away from the life I had known for the past four years, and stepping into unfamiliar territory. I was scared, alone, worried and unsure.
When I left Liberia, I knew that I would need the time, space and freedom to come home and rest. My bones were weary and my heart was heavy. I also knew that I needed time to grieve. I didn't know what that meant or looked like at the time, but I knew it was necessary. I knew that I needed time to curl up in a cocoon and hibernate. I needed the freedom to almost rediscover myself--who was I outside of Liberia and ORR?
Through the help of a fantastic ministry called Restoring Your Heart, I have grieved my losses. I have also learned that I have to chose forgiveness--forgiveness is for me! I've grieved losing Liberia and the children who became my own children. I cried over losing the life I had known. I grieved lost expectations and hopes for the future. I've shed tears over the loss of life, the unfairness, injustice and hopelessness that has filled my life for the last six years. The hardest, and most important, thing that I did just a few weeks ago was forgive Liberia. I wrote a lengthy letter to Liberia, laying everything out there--telling her how she's hurt me, what she's stolen from me, the grief she's given me, and how she's impacted and changed me. I wasn't very nice--I told Liberia that I hated her!
[Maybe some other time, I will share pieces of my letter]
As days turn into weeks, and weeks turn into months, I am focusing on getting back to Liberia. I am still overwhelmed and fumbling around this whole "setting up a non-profit" thing. There is so much I don't know, yet I've already learned so much. The thoughts, ideas and dreams in my journal are fleshing themselves out and becoming a reality. I have a house in Liberia! I have so many friends praying for me, encouraging me and building me up! There are so many friends on the other side of the world anxiously awaiting my return. There is a community of people who don't even know what's coming and how their lives are going to change because of Love! Through it all, I know and believe that God is with me every step of the way! I know that He's guiding and orchestrating, even if I can't see it or feel it. I still feel like I'm storing up energy for what's to come, but I know that it. is. good.
I was talking earlier today with my best friend about how it's been a full year since I left Liberia. Neither one of us could believe how fast time has gone by...and then I laughed and said, "I wonder where I'll be on June 5, 2014? Probably Liberia." Probably Liberia is right, but I'm trying my hardest to keep my gaze ahead, while living in the now.
My heart overflows with trust and thankfulness!
Expectant for all that is to come in this next year!