Today’s the start of the #AtoZChallenge, and I’m going to write about a recent experience with accepting those unexpected things that happen in life. So, friends, come on in, sit down with a cup of coffee (or tea, for you tea lovers) and let’s visit.
Today’s word is: Acceptance
Four months ago tomorrow, I found myself on a plane with two hastily packed bags, on my way home from South Africa, where I had spent the last 2.5 years working with the Peace Corps. I was exhausted, injured, and even though I was looking forward to seeing my family, I felt a little traumatized. A few days before, I had been told I would return to my rural site in Limpopo Province soon, where I would spent the next ten months. Then I would return home, at the expected time.
Then, the day before Thanksgiving, I found myself being told that a ticket was being purchased, that I would take a whirlwind trip back to my house to pack and say good bye in a few scarce hours, and that I would be on a plane as soon as they could find me one. I was being medevac’d for an injury and recently diagnosed neuro-muscular disorder.
It was a hard pill to swallow. Even after I landed in the States, it was hard to accept that I wasn’t going back. I fought with homesickness, guilt, and powerless in my journey of acceptance. I loved spending Christmas with my family for the first time since 2010, but I missed my African home and life. It took a while to accept that my life had changed.
And I’m still on that journey of acceptance and readjustment. Some days, it’s almost painful to go on Facebook and see all my friends who are still in Africa, because I want to be there, but I can’t be. Other days, it puts a smile on my face and peace in my heart.
It’s been a long journey.
But the pieces of the puzzle are falling in place. I have a job as a horticulturist now, and I’ve bought a car. I’m finding my place in my community and figuring out ways to bring my Peace Corps experience home. I’m still working with gardening and food insecurity, which I began to love in South Africa. And I’m accepting this change in my life as part of God’s great plan for me.
But it’s been difficult.