Wow, I can’t believe I’ve been back for two weeks…it feels like way longer. This afternoon we had my graduation party and I got to see lots of people!! People from my past I haven’t seen for ages, people it feels like I just saw…and now begins a summer of catching up with friends before leaving for Nyack on Labor Day Weekend.
One of the struggles of being back has been trying to figure out how to incorporate changes, lessons learned, and experiences from Gabon into my life here in the States. I knew before I returned that I didn’t want to be the same person or handle situations like I would have before I left. But when life is the same as when you left it, it’s hard to come back and start “leading a new life”. God has reminded me again and again, though, that I don’t have to figure that all out. He has given me this experience, and He is just as much guiding me here in the USA as He was in Gabon. So I’m not sure what else to do but love Him, love others…I learned a lot about love in Gabon. 🙂
Speaking of which, even here am still being affected by that love. Leanne encouraged her newsletter readers to read this passage below and I would like to share it with ya’ll:
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. – 1 John 4:7-21
When people here ask me about the thing that stood out most about my time in Africa, I talk about the love that I received and the community I was a part of. Not only learning to love and being loved by people of another culture (with a different language!) but also the people I lived with in the Envision center…who loved me even though they were not obligated to. Learning that love is not an obligation and that when it comes from Christ…oh what a beautiful thing.
Until my next trip to Gabon (Lord willing!) I will probably only be ocasionally updating this blog with little random bits and pieces…feel free to check out my regular blog for other updates on my life…hopefully as interesting as Gabon!