Saturday, February 9, 2008

4 months

This week I received my official end date from HR. I will be leaving Liberia on June 9th, which means, as of today, I have exactly four months of my Mercy Ships experience left.

I find that rather hard to believe. The time has gone by so quickly and I feel certain that the last few months will be even busier and go by even faster.

Yesterday, my bunkmate Michelle and I were discussing the reality of leaving the ship and the age old question that again arises of "what the heck am I going to do with my life?" We agreed that this experience has given us a thousand ideas (well, maybe not quite a thousand :) of things to do but, yet no real idea what actually to do. Being single and debt free further perpetuates the idea; seeing that I really could do whatever I wanted (within a reasonable context of course).

Michelle had a brilliant idea. Eblogger has a poll you can create and post. She suggested I just created a poll of "what I should so next" and just went with whatever got the most votes. I'm glad we're bunkmates.

Regardless, I echo the words of Anne from Anne of Green Gables, who after attending an elegant lunch party with Aunt Josephine said, "This will ruin everyday life forever."

Being here has definitely ruined everyday life in some ways.

I find that the people who come to Mercy Ships generally possess the same inward restlessness. A certain type discontentment with everyday life. I think about the 1 1/2 years before I came. I thought about Africa almost everyday and as my family would attest, did some rather exhaustive Google searching trying to learn whatever I could about what the ship was doing. It wasn't that I didn't love my home, or my family, or my friends, or my church, or my job, but there was some sort of inward longing for something else.

Ultimately, that desire is for Christ; we will never be fully satisfied here. But, I do believe the Lord has created us all for a specific and different calling. No calling is in itself better or worse, more or less spiritual, but rather they are a individual out working of a personal faith in Christ.

Michelle and I also discussed the torn feeling that the desire to work in a place like Liberia causes.

I really do enjoy working in Africa. I love meeting new people and having adventures. I love getting to physically help the helpless. I feel blessed and privileged to be here. I want to be here.

But I equally love Bucks County. I adore my family and friends. I am so grateful for my church and the beautiful people it's filled with. Sometimes you can almost feel guilty for leaving everyone behind.

For example, Michelle has a photo of her adorable 7 year old niece on her bed. It's really difficult to explain to a seven year old, who is asking you not to leave, that your going back to Liberia.

But that's what Michelle was called to do, so she's here, and she's happy to be here. I know the patients she takes care of are happy she’s here too.

I'm glad that God is faithful. I'm glad He has plans and not problems. It's exciting to not know what's next.

But I readily admit, I wouldn’t mind having the five year plan. I'd even settle for the two year plan.

I guess I'll find out in five years.

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