I think every single one of my family members (maybe even some of my friends) looked at me like I was NUTS when I said I was going to Uganda in a month. And when I told them I didn’t know a single soul going, where I will be staying, or what I will be doing they nearly fell over. (Tehe the thought of that makes me giggle.)
After they got up from the floor, almost everyone asked the question “are you scared to go?” I mean, obviously that’s a reasonable question to ask given the fact that I had ZERO information of the trip. All I knew was what organization I was going with and what time I needed to be at the airport. (Did that just give you anxiety? Because typing that just gave me a bit of anxiety.) ANYWHO… every time I was asked this question, I always responded with “I’m not scared to go. I’m scared to come back.” Kind of an odd response but that’s exactly how I felt. For months, I have been desperately praying for certain things in my life to change. I prayed that God would make the changes happen Himself because I knew I wasn’t strong or brave enough to do it on my own. I had this overwhelming peace about going to Uganda but every time I thought about coming back, I felt sick to my stomach because I KNEW drastic change was coming my way.
Well… CAN YOU GUESS WHAT HAPPENED?!… I was right. (But really, when am I not? Jk.)
A day before my departure, I went into work bright and early to be told that I am being laid off. WOWZERS. Yup, you read that right… I lost my job and I was leaving for Uganda the next day… “Ok, I need to update my resume. I need to tell my roommate I’m moving out. I need to find a job. I need to pack up this crap in my room and move AGAIN. Oh wait, I get to move back to LA – yay! Maybe it’s time to change careers. Ok, lets make a list of new careers: flight attendant, hand model (I’ve got some pretty good nails), nanny, event manager, bank teller. Shoot I need to pack for Uganda!! I’m gonna puke.” were all the thoughts that ran through my head. (My future husband is going to be so lucky to have a scatter brain like me 🙂 )
Being laid off was just a start of this lovely journey so, let’s fast forward to the next day… As I was boarding my flight, I got this unsettling feeling about a guy I’ve been dating. You know the “everything in my body and soul is telling me something is wrong/I think I may puke” feeling? People like to call it your “intuition”… Yea, well my intuition radar was through the roof BUT I was getting on a flight to freakin AFRICA so I tried to just set that aside… The first flight was smooth sailing until we landed in Dublin and as we waited to take off again, we sat in the plane with no electricity or air for the next five hours. I repeat: for the next 5 LONG/I CAN BARELY BREATHE/PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO SMELL HOURSSSSSSS!!!
A group of people in the back of the plane started to shine their cellphone lights and sing “This Little Light of Mine” at some point in the 5 hours we sat waiting to hear what was going on. Such sweet humans to try to uplift everyone but at this point, I’d say every single individual was miserable and fed up. FINALLY, they informed us that the plane is having mechanical issues (no way, couldn’t have guessed that) and that we needed to evacuate the plane immediately (oh boy). The fun thing was that I got to stay in a really cute hotel in Dublin for the night. The bad thing was that you had to stay by the telephone until you were informed when your next flight was which meant there was no opportunity to explore. Blah.
The next afternoon, we finally took off from Dublin heading to Addis Abba. Another 8 or 9 hour flight. The turbulence was one thing… I can deal with that but just as I thought things couldn’t get any worse, a man three rows back starting hallucinating, climbing over the seats, and screaming gibberish while peeing himself. His wife started crying and screaming bloody murder and immediately, I started planning my escape route but oh wait… I was in mid flight. I couldn’t go anywhere!! This was TERRIFYING. After that exhausting flight, I had a three hour delay to Entebbe but finally made it to my final destination!!
Everyone was so sweet and very welcoming when I finally arrived with the Love Does group. As I was getting to know everyone, I learned that there were two flight attendants in our group. One who has been a flight attendant for 30 years and the other for 5 years. This nearly knocked the wind out of me. Why? Because flight attendant was legitimately the first thing I wrote on my “new careers list” and because I had the thought about becoming one long before I got let go.
Fast forward two days as we are sitting down for lunch in the Murchison Falls National Park hotel, everyone and myself were checking our social media accounts when suddenly I received confirmation on why my intuition radar was going off the day I left. (Blaaaah, thinking back on that exact moment makes me sick to my stomach.) I’m not going to go into details but I will say that I am no longer dating the guy I was dating. Lol. This was the cherry on top of everything that had happened in a matter of four days and I was FURIOUS. Furious at him, furious at myself, furious at God, furious at every little darn thing that was around me in that moment. Thankfully, we were leaving for Gulu which meant there was absolutely no service or wifi for the next 4 days. God really works in His perfect timing because He knew that Hulk CC was about to come out and we all know we do NOT like Hulk CC.
Coming home was hard. The first few days I got back, I wanted to isolate myself from everyone and not deal with life. My family started to get concerned about my health because they noticed I was really sick and losing a significant amount of weight in a week span. I cried out numerous times in frustration and confusion wondering what else God was going to put on my plate. Since being home, almost every morning I walk to Starbucks to drink a tall caramel latte, eat a blueberry muffin not warmed (there is a big difference between warmed and not warmed), and reflect on what is going on, how I’m feeling, and what I am going to do. I write down game plans in my notebook (because we all know that I’m a stress ball if I don’t have one) and can you guess where that gets me every morning? It doesn’t get me anywhere and I still have no clue. HAHAH. (I’m literally cracking up at that last statement.)
There’s a point to this I promise…
I’m writing this because I’ve been told that people view me as someone who has their life put together to a T. I’ve been told that I’m someone who has accomplished many things, someone who is always happy, goes after what she wants, travels the world and yada yada, whatever else people say… Although those things are somewhat true and I am incredibly thankful to have experienced the things that I have, people don’t see the struggle that comes along with that. People don’t see the confusion and the hard work. They see the success and the happiness put on Instagram. I’m writing this to be completely honest – to be completely raw. I’m here to say that I am at a point where I HAVE NO CLUE what my next move will be in this game of life BUT I am also here to say I believe that not knowing is completely okay.
I believe that there is beauty in not knowing. Not knowing forces you to put your trust in God. It forces you to remain quiet so you can hear what the teacher is teaching. I believe there’s beauty in vulnerability. Vulnerability brings people together who once thought they were alone to find that others share the same struggles. I believe there’s beauty in taking risks and starting over. If you take a risk and succeed, it could end up being the best decision you have ever made yourself. And what happens if you don’t succeed? Well, we just start over again.
Whether I become a flight attendant or a nanny or am single for the rest of my life (Lord, please do not let that be the case), what I do know is that God is working something in each of our lives that is greater than anything we could ever imagine. So, if that means having to go without a job, enduring pain and heartache, having your family question every move you make and go to Starbucks every morning to write down your thoughts then SO BE IT. Because you know why?
God has every little detail and every little step already planned out for each and everyone of us. So no matter how confused you may be (I’m majorly right there with ya) I encourage you to keep on praying, reach out to loved ones when struggling, and know that it’s okay to not have everything figured out. Stay patient. Stay focused and open your eyes to what He may be trying to show you.
Ok, I lied. One more thing, I am also more than happy to answer any questions regarding my trip and my experience. I received so much love, support, and questions and I know I haven’t gotten back to some of you. I’ve been a little MIA (I think you understand now) but please feel free to reach out to me! Xo always.