As I woke up this morning, sun splitting through the blinds, I couldn't help but lay and think. Sure, I have things to do today...lots of them, but today is the last day of 2010 and I can't help but be sentimental. I thought a lot about this last year. So much has happened in a year, so many memories, so many changes. I used to hate change. I still have a love/hate relationship with it, but I've learned to roll with it. It comes, it goes, but it will always come again. A year ago, I found myself repacking my suitcase. I had had a wonderful Christmas at home but was ready to return to the land I love so much, Africa. I boarded my plane, ready for a new year but fearful. I had already complete a very challenging year in Kenya. There were so many unknowns ahead of me, so many potential changes, but one thing I knew for sure...Africa. I knew my mind had to fully be engaged in Africa again and not worry about the unknowns. Words of a missionary martyr, Jim Elliot, challenged me in this area, "Wherever you are, be all there." I continued to remind myself of this quote. The next six months in Africa were my strongest months there. I fell in love all over again with the continent and the people. Fear no longer consumed me. I finally had let go and allowed change to happen. Just as I was finally settling, the Lord stirred my heart and began to prepare me for another change... back to the U.S. This change was harder for me. Six months have passed since my return and I believe I'm finally getting used to living in the U.S. Many changes have happened in these 6 months including my move to Richmond, VA. Although change is hard for me, I always look back and am thankful for the way it has shaped me. Although my heart often longs to return to Africa and I know I will someday, I'll remember those words..."Wherever you are, be all there."
I'm thankful for 2010. I'm thankful for all the unknowns, the fears, and the changes wrapped up in this crazy last year. Here are some images collected during my time in Africa. I'm sure you will see these scattered throughout my blog in the future. When I look at each of these photos, I'm back there. Behind the camera. In Africa...feet caked with mud, clothes faded from the sun, sweaty, and loving it.
Happy New Year!