When I left the states 19 months ago (yes, can you believe it, 19 months!!) I was aware that life in the states would continue on without me (contrary to popular belief). Even though I knew this, the reality of it has not hit me as hard as it has this week. This coming weekend two of my very dear friends in the states will be getting married. One is a friend I met in college and left behind when I came to Zambia and the other is a friend that I met here in Zambia. Just so you know, it really stinks to be here and missing out on all the celebrations that are happening this week. I could sit here and be bitter and have a pity party while I type this but instead I am choosing to meditate over Philippians 3:14. How can I be upset with my circumstance of being in Zambia when I know this is the place God has called me to be. It is not so much that I want to be at these particular weddings, but rather I want to feel involved in their lives (it is a little hard to feel involved when you are separated by an ocean). But like I said earlier, I knew life in the states would go on without me. Praise God that He has allowed me to have such a life changing experience. While growing up never did I imagine that I would have the opportunity to see the things I have seen, do the things I have done, and be in the places I have been!!!
One thing I have done a lot of this month is think about what my re-entry to the states will be like. Without a doubt I know it will be difficult. The reverse culture shock is going to be brutal! You could start praying for me now in this area! Pray that I would not be so caught up in leaving that I neglect the work here…pray that I finish my term well! Also pray for me as I discover what steps God wants me to take next. Pray that I would be faithful and obedient to hear His voice and follow His way.
Now some of you may be asking, “Ashley, what are your plans when you return home?” My answer so far will have to be, “I have no idea!” Good thing I still have another 3 months, 3 weeks, 6 days, and 8 hours to pray about it before I leave here (but who is counting the time??). As of right now, everything is an option…graduate school, seminary, substitute teaching, cart-girl at a golf course (this is the suggestion of my friend Mallory), waitressing, and even joining a group of average-Joe superheroes whose “super powers” consist of shoveling well (the Shoveler), bowling (the Bowler), being invisible when no one is looking (the Invisible Boy), fork throwing (the Blue Raja), and rage (Mr. Furious). I am not really sure what my “super power” would be though??
I found out some good news this week. On Wednesday I went to the House of Moses orphanage. While there, I started talking to some of the ladies who work there. During the course of conversation I found out that my favorite baby in Zambia is still under their care. Last year Stephanie and I were told that Cecilia (my baby) had been put back with a member of her family. I was selfishly sad to hear of this because I knew it meant I would never get to see her again. But last week I found out that she was not placed back with family but rather sent to another orphanage for children over 1 year old. So I made arrangements to meet up with a lady who works at House of Moses and go to the other orphanage in hopes of seeing my sweet little Cecilia. It has been nearly a year since I have seen her, I am sure she is not so little anymore. When I last saw her she was on the verge of talking and walking. I bet she is so grown up now!
For all seven people who are still reading this, I want to say thank you. Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings and thank you for praying for me during these next few months of transition and change.
And of course before I end, no update would be complete without an apology.....I must apologize for the lack of correspondence on my part for the last couple of months. Some of it has been computer/internet problems but the majority of it is good ole Ashley-style laziness.