Land of the free, home of the unparalleled customs lines.

Patience can be tested in unique ways as you’re standing for over an hour to reenter your home country. I’ve gone through the process more than once, but last week was different in that my thoughts were truly elsewhere. Typically, my tendency to complain combined with overwhelming jet lag results in a stare-down with the closest customs officer sitting behind the glass window. “Water boils faster than you’re stamping those passports, sir.”

This time, though, I was too busy replaying the previous two months in my head. I’m big on detail, and I was already afraid I’d forget something about the single most life-changing summer I’ve had the privilege of experiencing. As I was weaving through 300 feet of customs lines, I became acutely aware that I was straddling two continents in my heart. And I realized that I probably would be for quite some time.

My time spent in Bundibugyo, Uganda was a gift from God in every sense. He showed me, taught me, and led me through infinitely more than this human mind could ever fully grasp. He designed radiant relationships that blossomed in spite of cultural barriers and violent rivalries. He drew me close to him while painting an all-inclusive picture of why he brought me to an often-forgotten place in the mountains of Uganda. In short, it was a beautifully overwhelming seven weeks abounding with God’s grace.

The transition back into life here has proven to be an awkward process at times, but I’ve enjoyed reconnecting with family and friends to see the transformational work that happened while I was gone. The hugs and conversations are reminders of a cliche that now brings a new level of comfort in times of stress and confusion: the God of Uganda really is the God of Nashville, the God of Memphis, the God of this whole world. He always has been. So while I feel like I just returned from an extended stay on a different planet, the sovereignty and faithfulness of my Father remains unchanging and timeless across all continents. It perfectly bridges the gap between the world I left behind and the one I’m slowly reentering now, and it’s a truth I’d do well to remember always.

To my stateside family: thank you for praying, encouraging, and supporting me through this entire process. I could feel every bit of it from the other side of the world, and I continue to feel it even now that I’m home. The body of Christ can be such a beautiful and humbling thing.

To my Ugandan family: thank you for loving and accepting me so well, and for showing me what it looks like to serve the Kingdom alongside a team of hilariously crazy, imperfect, gospel-living people. I miss you already.

These people will always have a special place in my heart. Crisis makes the heart grow fonder, am I right?
These people will always have a special place in my heart. Crisis makes the heart grow fonder, right?

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