“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5 (ESV)
It’s been one month since I left Uganda, and I sit here in my childhood bedroom with what feels like even less clarity than when I arrived. Last week, I received an email from my travel agent, recommending I suspend or cancel my ticket back to Uganda that was scheduled for May 18 because multiple flights on the ticket had been canceled. With his counsel, I suspended my ticket, trusting that I will be back in Uganda before the end of February 2021. And with that, it felt as though I blew out the light at the end of the tunnel.
I have always wrestled with my heart being in Uganda whenever I have returned for a visit to the States, but not having a return flight back to Uganda has made that struggle exponentially greater. So I look for ways to “flatten the curve.” I reach out to friends still over there so that they won’t forget me when I am back. I take five or even ten minutes out of my 30-minute class when my student wants to tell me about her cat that’s sleeping in a basket next to her or show me her stuffed poodle named Maddie so that she knows I care about her whole person, and not just how much math she knows. I look at my Google Photos memories and laugh about my roommate helping the vet remove our dog’s stitches after she was spayed. I continue to do my job to the best of my ability so that it will be as seamless of a transition back as possible. I continue with the Bible study I was working through with a group of friends in Uganda, and though I’m woefully behind, it is oh so good for my soul!
When I lived in Virginia, I would oftentimes drive through the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel going to and from my parents’. The first time I drove through the tunnel, I thought I was having a panic attack. I have a fear of being trapped, and the tunnel is so long that I could not see the end of it, even after driving for what felt like forever, and my anxiety skyrocketed. I started fidgeting in my seat and breathing rapidly, and just when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore, I saw it. The small but bright light at the end of the tunnel. Instantly, I was fine. The next time I drove through the tunnel, I was just starting to get anxious when I saw the light. Each time I drove through after that was easier and easier.
This isn’t the first time I have felt like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. But every time I have felt this way, God has proved Himself faithful. He has shown me again and again that His plan is better than mine and I can trust Him. So while the situation might look like there is cause for anxiety and panic, I am able to have peace about where I am. Because even though I haven’t been in this exact tunnel before, I have been in enough to know that there’s a light at the end.