SIX DAYS IN

Six days in and my heart is so full. Stepping back on to the Nations Changers campus yesterday in awe, I could not believe all that the Lord has made happen in just a year. The first time I ever visited Wakiso, five years ago, this property was just overgrown bush, and now it is an irremarkable example of just how stinking amazing Jesus is.

This land went from one children’s home, to the next, and to the next. Then came a school, and then a playground, and then a nursery building, and it just continues to grow. Nations Changers now has 400 students, who - by the way – are probably my favorite 400 kids in the entire world, and is growing and developing every single day.

I also have been smothered in cuddles by my three sponsor girls non-stop and I am not complaining one bit. Baby Patricia is finally old enough for Baby Class, Uganda’s version of the first year of pre-school, and she is just about as spunky as ever. Nakalyango, or as some call her, Jane, has promoted to Top Class, or Kindergarten, and never fails to wear a smile as bright as the sun. Benita, my oldest, is now in primary 2 and can finally speak English well enough to have the BEST conversations with me. These three are almost always by my side or in my arms and they make me the proudest sponsor, or “mizungu” mommy, out there.

I have also been so blessed by the sixteen Santa Fe Christian kids here with me, helping me regain a bit of that “first time in Uganda” excitement and awe. There is something about your first trip, something so special and almost indescribable, and having these students here with me has brought me a bit of that feeling back. Watching them interact for the first time with the kids that have completely stolen my heart and see them fall in love with them just the same, has brought my oh so much joy and its only been two days.

As I was reading last night, a book my mom bought me a while back, I realized for the first time what made me fall so in love with Uganda. The book is called “You are Free,” written by Rebekah Lyons and as the title suggests, speaks about the immediate freedom that comes with a relationship with the Lord. At the end of chapter 1, it asks you to recall a time when you felt truly and completely free… of course I wrote my first time in Uganda. But then it hit me. I always described the joy that came from my trips, as a feeling of being “enough.” It was the only way I could describe it, it was this feeling or rather a lack of the feeling that you must always have something to offer.

But as I sat there and thought about this feeling of freedom, I realized that my experiences here were less about feeling “enough” and more about feeling free. I have come to terms, especially in the last year, that I am not and never will be “enough.” I am broken and I am incomplete. I live in an imperfect world, and I will never be “enough” for those around me, not friends, not a boy, not anyone. And after months of struggling, I finally have realized that, that is okay. I no longer need to feel “enough.” Because God doesn’t need me to be. He uses me exactly the way that I am.

Xx

Gabriella