I've been back in the US for nearly two weeks now. I thought coming back at Christmastime would make things easier because I love Christmas. I'm not sure I was right about that, but tonight I made Kenyan chai to go with my birthday dinner, and it somehow helped I think. It made me think about all the experiences at the City of Hope and the friends I have there, friends that I'm really missing right now; it made me think about all the children who come through the City of Hope and how fun, talented, beautiful, and...ordained by God for greatness they are and how much I love them all; it made me think of the team that's still there working so hard to make the world a better place for the people of Ntagatcha; it made me wonder what I'm doing here and what I'm supposed to be doing over this next year or so.
Shortly after my return I stopped by my university to talk to a professor of mine from nursing school. During our chat I realized that I spent more time outside the US in 2010 than I did inside the US...and that I prefer it that way. She described it as feeling that her soul was drying up when she's in the US for too long, and that's exactly it. So why am I here now? Why has God called me here for now after breaking my heart so thoroughly for both Guatemala and Tanzania? And why does it still have to hurt so much? But, you know, the fact of the matter is that He has called me here for now. He didn't say it would be easy, but He has promised to give His children His strength and His joy and His passion. And I believe Him because He's the Living God, and I'm his daughter! Besides, as Paul said, our circumstances have nothing to do with our joy because our joy doesn't (or shouldn't) come from our circumstances; he said that he could be joyful in chains and in freedom, in wealth and in poverty, in hunger and in satisfaction, so surely I can be joyful in the mountains of VA! I'm a nurse; that hasn't changed even if my mission field has for the time being. So, with the strength God gives me, I'm going to work as a nurse, and I'll put a smile on my face, some pep in my step, and my whole heart into it! I'll be an ambassador for Christ, not in chains, but in scrubs!!