Flood Warning

{Written 17 October, 2011. Rediscovered & published 3 February, 2012.}

It’s that moment where your eyes swell with tears before you can realize what’s happening. Your heart starts pounding and you hold your breath because if you let it rise, it feels as though it’ll flood the room.
{And no one likes a flood, I think.}

I felt the ache every moment for the first few weeks after I got back from Africa. Then, most days.
Eventually, it waned. Occasionally, I’d get a glimpse of the night sky, or I’d hear a story, see a video, or meet a person who just brought me right back to the way my heart was brought to life there.

And then I’d be flooded, filled with ache for there. For the simplicity, for the beauty, for the ache, for the need, for the people.

Eventually, I stopped wanting to feel it. I stopped wanting to watch the videos about orphans in Africa, because I would just want to go there. I would ache for there. Because it’s the most at home I ever felt.

Why? Why must it be this way?
Why can’t I be disgusted with the thought of it, the way most that I know are?
Why does my whole being have to ache like this?

There’s this girl. This 21 year old girl who committed to teach children in Uganda for a year, out of high school. And she stayed. She stayed & she opened her heart & her home. And now, she’s Mama to 14 girls. 14 girls who’d been without anyone. She writes a blog post every once in a while, and I read it, ever since I tearfully discovered her blog a while back. And she’s writing a book. And I saw a promo video for the book, tonight. And all at once, I felt the ache in the most present and real way that I ever have. It’s like that’s home. It’s like part of my being is there, and I can forget, I can go numb, but once I remember that part of me is missing, the pain rushes in.

It’s the oddest thing.
And the most amazing, I think.

I told John recently that it didn’t really matter if we ever went to Africa. That I could be okay, here in America, I think.
Truth, however, is that I hate it here.
I hate all the stuff. And I hate how it sucks me in. How it leeches my essence.
I hate how I become about all the stuff that I hate.

And I think I hoped that with time, the ache to be in Africa {or India, or there} would just fade. I think I hoped that over time, it would go away completely. That maybe it was just me being young & naive. Maybe it was just a desire for a sense of adventure, a desire to travel, or something else. In fact, that’s what people said.

Oh, how that’s not true.
The ache hasn’t lessened. It’s more poignant than ever.

I’m holding tight to what we read tonight:

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

I’m not the first person to long, to ache. I’m not the first, and I won’t be the last. And it won’t always be this way. And maybe, just maybe, this ache, this longing was ignited in me for a purpose – maybe it was brought to life in me with intention.

3 thoughts on “Flood Warning”

  1. Beautiful post!

    OF COURSE it was ignited for a purpose – with sacred intention and holy purpose, in fact! My prayer for you is that you will soon grasp the full scope of that divine direction in your life and see your path toward it, soon and VERY soon!

    Love the new website look, BTW! Except pale gray is bit difficult for old eyes to work with when reading some of your static text and posting a comment. So … (you know what’s coming, right) – when’s my makeover for my blog gonna be finished? {JUST KIDDING!}


  2. PS – forgot to mention: you might enjoy OUT OF AFRICA with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford (1985). Not tightly woven to your ‘nomsa’ experience, but a fine love story with real depth, and a truly great film (7 academy awards, including Picture, Screenplay, and Cinematography – and it absolutely deserved them, especially for cinematography; John would especially enjoy that part of it


    1. We will add that to our list. I have known about that film for a while but never made it a priority to watch. Thanks for the recommendation!



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