Friday, March 12, 2010

My heart is all over the world tonight

Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love. Psalm 31: 16

We are all feeling it here in Ghana.

We are all just finding this week a little difficult.

I can't exactly pinpoint why it's been especially hard this week. I can't tell you why I feel the way I do. It's just been hard.

I wouldn't say I am homesick. I mean, I do miss my home. I miss my family, I miss my friends, and I miss America. But, by no means am I ready to go home. I think because I am officially half way through this experience, the "honeymoon" period is over, and I am starting to fully adjust to living here. I want to fully embrace that, but it's hard to be vulnerable and attach myself here when I know it's temporary. I think I might be afraid too, because I know I'm attached, and I'm afraid of how it will feel to leave.

But you know what?

I just can't be afraid. I can't keep how I feel inside, because that just isn't me. I've always worn my heart on my sleeve, and I don't want to miss on being vulnerable because I'm scared. There is just so much more to living in Ghana than that.

Maybe this week has been hard because the emotion is finally catching up with me.
I'm burnt, I'm worried about the Kissemahn kids, I am disappointed that we can't spend time in Togo because of the riots, I want nothing more than a hot cup of coffee, I am frustrated with how my classes have been going, and I wish to see the faces of people I love. I've been more negative this week than I usually ever am. I had to end class in Kissemahn early on Tuesday because I was practically in tears. I was teaching all alone, the kids were fighting, and I felt like it was completely out of control. I felt like a failure, here I was, trying to teach, and in over 2 hours I barely helped the kids learn anything at all. I try so hard to find the positive in everything. Yet, this week I felt only exasperated, anxious, and stressed by the end of the week. It hasn't been a good feeling, and I absolutely dislike negativity. It's an emotion that sucks you in so easily and then proceeds to take you absolutely nowhere. Negativity is not what I, nor anybody else needs right now.

This is Africa. And that's a beautiful thing.

It hit me today after we were leaving the Accra mall and attempting to catch a tro back home to Legon. We looked ridiculous. Utterly ridiculous. The mates usually scream out the window where they are headed, but instead today they barely muttered the direction of their tro. That left me, Taylor, and Rachel running around like idiots. It took us well over 30 minutes to catch one home, and we were laughing the whole time. It was what I needed. A moment to ground me. To help me relax. After all, this is Ghana. At the end of the day, I can't have what I want. Nor do I need what I want. I am here to experience this place, this wonderful country.

After this, and talking to my best friend over skype last night I have been feeling better today. No, I'm not leaping for joy. But that's okay. I've realized I don't have to be shouting, laughing loudly, and being obnoxious to be happy. I can be content. I can be working through the challenges, doing the best I can, and still be happy.

I've taken a leap already, just by coming here. I thought about this earlier in the week at Kokrobite Beach. The sand, the people, the sun, it was just a genuinely pretty day. I felt so lucky, and I knew, somehow, that I was going to be challenged the upcoming week. I was.

Now, it's about what I do with that. I can certainly be negative and allow that to seep deeply into this experience. Or, I can learn from it, embrace it, and take every moment of being in Ghana as a gift. Few people get an opportunity like this. I took the jump. And it's okay if I fall. I can get right back up.

Michelle told me,
"That peace is God, and I know it is still inside of you, and I know it is SO hard to feel God sometimes. I know he feels SO far away sometimes and you wonder how you can ever pray or feel close again, but I just want you to know that he is inside of you and he's not going anywhere and he's with you and he's always been with you and every step you take in Ghana he is in your heart."

Thank you for being by my side. Thank you to my friends, my family, to everyone for just loving me. I know I'm going to be okay.


  1. True that. All of it. I love you, Heather, and was so uplifted to speak with you last night. I really think Jesus temporarily miraculously made the internet work so we could have that conversation :) Stay beautiful, girl. You possess much more of it than you realize.

  2. Heather,
    You are beautiful & I love you.
    I just said a prayer for you.
    Be Blessed & feel God's love this moment & every moment of your life.
    KNOW THAT IT IS TRUE AND RIGHT AND PERFECT and that NOTHING you could ever do will every separate you from that love.

  3. Hello Heather,

    I spoke to Randy yesterday via e-mail and he mentioned that you were in Ghana for a few months. I think it’s great that you have the opportunity to live in a developing country, not as a tourist but as a learner. Africa has much to teach us if we take the time to slow down and tune in.
    My late wife Patty and I lived in a number of African countries over the years. Sierra Leone, Guinea, and South Africa. The years we spent living and working with Africans were some of the highlights of our 33 years together. When you get home we will have to swap stories. Have you experienced a WAWA day yet?