It's been over 2 months since I left the red dirt of Uganda and flew the 9,000+ miles back to the salty air of southern california. After my stomach got adjusted to things other than posho and beans, and my clothes had been washed, and my phone set back to Pacific Coast time...I started feeling the effects of investing 3 months in rural africa.
What mostly kicked in was the undeniable distance between the people I came to know and love in Uganda, and the familiarity of all things home. This realty hit me hard one night when I was thinking of my good friend Winnie, whom I formed a deep bond with while in Gulu. I had the sudden urge to check in on her - was she okay? Did she know I got back safely? How did her finals go at school? Was she able to buy a phone in town to use to call her family?
These things I did not know, and the creeping distance urged on. I am a creature of habit (I think we all are to some extent) and the tech-savvy-American-20somethingyrold in me wanted to TEXT, CALL, EMAIL, FACEBOOK, SKYPE...contact Winnie SOMEHOW SOMEWAY.
This was not cool. No one warned me about this situation I was in. This distance placed between us.
It bugged me, because my flesh is used to running to people. I'm used to hearing that response from a text, or the accessibility of someone via email, or facebook. All of this of which Winnie does not have.
So I sat. And I prayed. And I asked God to please help me figure out how to love someone who is literally 9000+ miles away... A FAR AWAY FRIEND.
Then God brought clarity.
He told me to stop worrying about the distance, because the bond between Winnie and myself was formed far deeper than the surfaces of cell phones and facebook...
the foundation of our friendship was based on the undeniable power and plan of Jesus Christ.
Never in my life have I come across a situation where literally...the only thing connecting me to another person was Jesus Christ. Whoa. No technology to bridge us together, no proximity to help our paths cross...just simply, Jesus.
I prayed for Winnie, and asked God to speak to her and to please tell her I was thinking of her, always. My faith had to rest in that. God was the only connecting factor between us, and I had to have confidence in that.
So, at the end of the day, I miss this far away friend. She's a huge part of why I believe God took me to Uganda, and a huge part of why I'm hoping to go back. The funny thing is...I feel closer to her now that i'm further away from her. haha. God works in the craziest, most indescribable ways, and I'm thankful for a God that is not bound by distance.
Winnie and I : the guest house at Restore.