I remember so clearly when God first called me to Africa - and I can remember clearly all the times since I was 12 when He confirmed that calling again.
And when I married my beloved Rob 4 and a bit years ago - a beautiful Ugandan man who had a heart to help the people of Africa like I did - I knew then, even more than ever, that Africa would be my home.... that Uganda would be 'home'.
But I was not prepared for the day.... or the day's...... when God would call me to 'stay'.
I looked up what staying means in the dictionary
remain in the same place.
"you stay here and I'll be back soon"
remain in a specified state or position.
"her ability to stay calm"
synonyms:remain (behind), stay behind, stay put; More
Its interesting when I read what staying meant, for me I realised that obviously I am staying in the same physical place - but it also means to remain in a specificied state or position.
When I first read this I thought - that sounded like a negative thing - but then I thought - if that specified place is on my knees in prayer - or a peace in what God is doing then yep I'm happy with that.
Many people think that the going is harder - but I am honestly finding staying - much harder than going ever was.
When God called me to Africa as a girl, and then when I said YES to that calling again through marrying Rob - I couldn't have predicted the amount of times Rob and I would have to be separated.
Within a few months of marrying and being in Uganda, Rob and I had to quickly return to Australia
as I was having extreme pain, and no one in Uganda could work out what was going on - after returning to Australia - no one here could work it out either - so then Rob had to return to Uganda without me - thankfully before too long I was in having surgery for what turned out to be multiple hernia's in a very dangerous state... Staying behind as Rob left was the hardest thing - but the Dr who operated said 'staying' saved my life since if I had gone and just put up with it as I said I wanted to do - eventually organ's would have been strangled
We claimed after those months apart that we would never do that again. It was super hard!
But every day together we pray for Gods will...
And then once again we had to have time apart when we got pregnant with our first little miracle .... i'll never forget receiving the urgent phone call from Australian Dr's to say I needed to get home to Australia urgently to protect the life of our baby and myself - so within a few days Rob and I were apart again.....
And again after those months apart, we once again said - NO we will never do that again - its way too hard!!
But yet again we still pray for God's will in our lives!
When God surprised and blessed us with our second little miracle pregnancy - we knew what it meant - more time apart. This time I wasn't only going to have to leave my beloved - but my little 17 month old.
Rob and I talked about the fact - that it was probably time to stop saying " we won't be apart" ..... and realise that even when we are apart physically - we are physically and spiritually bound no matter the distance.
Our real home.... is not in Uganda.... nor in Australia... it is when we are all together.
When I think back on all these times we have been apart - I have no doubt that this time is by far the hardest.
Every time we've been apart for medical reasons - I have been on my own - so its only been me I need to look after.
And this time - staying behind certainly wasn't apart of the plan.