• Emily Darling

The Journey Continues But Not How I Imagined

This week has been the hardest week since I returned to the US. It feels as if the waves have been crashing over me at full force and I cannot catch my breath and my body is so sore. While I am experiencing some physical pain and discomfort, this week has been the hardest on my heart and soul.

Today, June 29th Tanzania opens their schools for instruction. I want to be there so badly to be able to greet the kids and start this new semester with them. It feels like I am going through the same grieving process and maybe even more intensely this time as I did when I came home. I have not cried this much since I left Tanzania. I feel like I am starting back at square one. I miss the kids and the staff. I miss the simplicity that I was living in Tanzania. Tanzania is where I could encounter God in new ways. My prayer is that God will send me back to Tanzania and St. John’s and my heart is aching for that time.

In coming back to the US, I have been given the opportunity to explore new ways to ground and re-center myself. Living back in the US has been a new experience because the things and experiences that would ground me and re-center me have been out of reach. The hardest part in all of this is that I feel like I am travelling without a map. The things that used to comfort me are what have me in a sobbing mess. My emotions are all over the place and the only thing I know is that I would love to be teaching in Tanzania. However, God has called me back to the US, at least for the foreseeable future. I am grappling with the uncertain. For those that know me well know that I am planner and a researcher, it may be a sickness. I don’t tend to go without a map for too long before I either draw one myself or ask God to reveal it to me. Usually I do it myself and fail, then ask God for guidance and because He is patient and loving He shows me the way.

God is the one who is sovereign over all of this. His plan is always the best plan even if it is not my plan. He has brought me to this place, and He is with me through this place as he always is and always will be. He knows the plans for me, and they are good with prosperity, not to harm, for hope and a future (paraphrasing Jeremiah 29:11). These usually would be the place where I rested, lately they feel more like platitudes that people say to make you feel better. But I know them to be true and there will be a time where they do not sting like they are now.

I am not saying that I have lost my faith in God and the goodness that is bestowed by Him. It means that I am leaning into Him more lately than I ever had even if where I am does not feel good and I am in the dark. God speaks to us in the light and the dark. While He is light, and dark cannot overcome Him does not mean there is no meaning in the darkness. This is all a part of my story and I am hopeful that I will learn the lessons that He is trying to teach me.

I have been blessed in this time with the insight with how God created me and how I can serve Him no matter where I travel. Now I feel them more deeply now and I can explore those things and how they may manifest in my life. It still does not mean that I can see the map or know what is next, but it is a start.

The journey will continue. I am learning to go without a map and sometimes in the dark while the waves are crashing over me. God is still good. He still loves me. I am still dedicated to the path and plan He has for me. It does not mean that it is not hard, but I am so grateful that I have Him and my community to lean on.

I pray that blessings are abundant even in the darkness and hard times.

God is good all the time, all the time God is good.



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