Rights, Lefts, Keys, Gates...and God
I'm in Africa. I'm in Africa. I finally made it to Africa. I'm not sure the REALITY of that has really sunk into my spirit yet, but I wake up daily and remind myself...I've made it. June and July were a whirlwind of transition-leaving my job of 10 years, obtaining my travel visa, visiting friends and family, saying goodbyes, and finally culminating with one foot in front of the other onto 3 different airplanes and 35 hours of travel, which eventually brought me here to Cape Town. I feel like I have left one life and stepped into another, and while it often feels very natural to be here, the new routines and changes in culture are obviously not.
I'm learning how to drive again, only this time on the right side of the car while on the left side of the road. For the most part, I'm getting this down, but it hasn't been without its challenges-the peskiest of which is the turn signal, which is now located on the right side of the steering column. Up is now left instead of right and vice versa. I would say I remember this about 65% of the time now....the other 35% of the time I end up wiping my windshield. The strangest thing I've noticed with this perpetual "opposite day" is that my brain is getting very confused about which is left and which is right. It has been more than once that I've been told which direction to go and instead go the opposite direction, fully confident I was correct until I draw significant focus as to which is REALLY left and right. One of the first phrases of driving I have learned though, and repeat nearly every time I enter an intersection, is "look right or die." It sounds terrible, but I've found it to be extremely valuable when navigating through the opposites of driving life!
My new life also consists of a world of keys and locks and lights and buttons and gates. Every door and gate has it's own key and there are many! I'm not saying this to frighten anyone, this is the way of life here and these precautions are taken in every home. I sometimes jokingly envision myself the lady of a victorian home in Jane Austen area with a large key ring filled with skeleton keys of every kind for each door of the house. It keeps me laughing as I'm bumbling around my present day monstrosity of a key collection trying to find the right one!
The first home-cooked meal I made here was spaghetti and garlic toast. I know, wrong country, but it was easy and familiar. I did have to doctor the sauce up quite a bit with seasonings, but I got it pretty close to what I'm used to. Grocery shopping was definitely an adventure, as there are so many new things to experience and try. For anyone who knows me well, you know this is one of my favorite things to do-try new flavors and products! But that all being said, it's still new and often different, and will be an interesting and fun challenge in learning to cook South African style while also finding what works to keep my "roots."
So while I'm in the middle of all these changes and adjustments, the reigning factor in it all is the One who reigns! Jesus has been so, so sweet, reminding CONSTANTLY of His presence with me and before me. He has given me an INCREDIBLE mentor family, who is walking with me through each step and have become my dear friends. He has quieted my anxiousness in the times I was unsure and scared. In the times when I felt uneasy and unsafe, and the times when I have felt a little overwhelmed or concerned about how everything is going to work out...He squeezes His loving arms around me a little tighter and repeats, "I'm here. I've got you." And it's in that peace that I walk through the newness, and it's in that love that I am more excited than ever for the PURPOSE of my being here. This morning, I was reading in Acts the story of Philip and the eunuch he met and baptized on the road. Philip was there because the Spirit of God told him to go, without having the full picture as to what would happen. And in that story, AMAZING things transpired. Eyes were opened, a heart was won, and life was redeemed and made righteous. And imagine what the eunuch thought when he came out of the water and Philip had disappeared?!? Can you imagine what Philip experienced when suddenly he was in a city far from the place he was just in? How glorious and miraculous!!!
I have come here in obedience to the Lord's calling, and while I have only a glimpse of the work He is wanting to do, I cannot wait for the miraculous, glorious moments that I KNOW are coming. For eyes and ears opened to the truth of Jesus, healing, freedom from bondage and darkness, value of life restored, the list goes on and on, as infinite as the facets of our Lord's character. Join me in not only praying for these things to transpire, but also BELIEVING for them with great faith. God is moving here, aligning circumstances and people, resources and relationships...and it's going to be good-so very GOOD.