Why is it that unpacking my Chacos with African dirt on them always makes me want to cry? Today I feel so far from the place where I spent three months of my life, but something about my sandals is such a tangible reminder that yes, I was actually there. And then suddenly all these memories of my time there comes back to me. And it’s hard to feel so far from the people and places of those memories.
I’ve been pretty distracted from what my life was like in Nigeria as I’ve been traveling around for the past two weeks visiting family and friends. I spent a total of 2 days in the car and my car has an added 3,000 miles after the trip! But I made it to Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, and back to DC and got to see lots of lovely people along the way! It was so nice to be able to talk to people face to face about my time in Benin City and to hear about what I missed during my 3 months away. And I got to spend Christmas with all my family, which hasn’t happened for several years – I am so grateful.
Everyone’s been asking if I’m having culture shock since being back. I don’t feel too “shocked” yet – but I think the worst of it will come once I’m back at work and in school, once real life starts to hit me. So far, I don’t think I’ve ever whined so much about being cold! The Minnesota winter cold was pretty brutal! And it’s also been weird as it’s been a little hard for me to adjust back to American food, which I never would have expected.
For right now, I feel thankful that the Lord gave me this opportunity to go to Benin City for 3 months of my life. I can’t wait to see how he’ll use my experiences there in the future. I definitely think I’ll be back in Africa – the where/when/how of that I have no idea about right now. But God has given me some measure of peace that He’ll help me figure that out when the time is right. For now, my first day back at work is tomorrow and I start school next week. I know there will be so much I’m grateful for at work and I hope that I’ll be even more enthusiastic about school now that I’ve seen how important it will be to remember everything I’m learning.
I’m praying that the Lord will continue to give me peace about where I’m at now and give His direction for each step I take in the future. Thanks so much for following this journey – can’t wait to see where else God will take me!