All those who wander are not lost…
I literally chuckled to myself reading this phrase from a t-shirt as I was boarding a taxi heading back to Jinja last week. Mainly because I’ve felt like a wanderer in every sense of the word as I’ve journeyed through many unknowns and unforeseen adventures over here in Uganda.
That little voice inside my head still rages on of…Am I lost on this journey of life?
This is always one of those questions, I throw up into the heavens hoping and praying for an answer. Rarely do I hear a clear voice echo down from above, but at other times I hear unexpected answers through people who are merely passing through my life on this journey…
When I arrived in Uganda the beautiful Holmes family, who I stay with, was helping a precious little girl named Fiona from a very rural area of Northern Uganda. Fiona was a typically developing child until she concocted Malaria at a year and a half, which spread to her brain, secondary to lack of funds for appropriate medication. This subsequently effected her muscular movement and brain development. Fiona’s father left when he saw how his daughter was not “typical” and soon after her mother abandoned her as well.
The harsh reality is that Fiona’s story is one of the hundreds to thousands of other children with disabilities in Uganda.
Since being abandoned, Fiona’s grandmother has been taking care of her. However, secondary to her lack of understanding and education regarding her granddaughter’s physical condition, Fiona’s grandmother was at a loss on how to properly care for her or perceive her incredible potential!
So over the past four years, Fiona was basically tossed food (which she can’t chew) and marginalized from other people by being placed on the dirt ground in isolated parts of the village.
Upon hearing Fiona’s story my heart hurt. She has journeyed through life completely misunderstood by others around her. I knew this could not be the end of the story…
Witnessing Fiona’s progress over a two-week period from simply being provided nurturing compassion, adequate nutrition, loving interaction and therapy was a miracle. It was equally a gift to travel five hours up to her village to share with the members of her family Fiona’s brilliance, amazing potential and reasons WHY she struggles to eat, walk and talk.
During our time together in the village, Fiona’s Grandmother stated ‘I never knew Fiona could learn how to sit in a chair and stand-up.’
Those words and witnessing the enlightenment of the members of Fiona’s village was a heavenly signpost that bashed so many skeptical thoughts within my heart. Her words were a radiant source of light which illuminated the unpredictable road ahead and was a grounding compass within my wandering heart.
I believe divine signposts invite us to abandon paths or roadways that appear more attractive and lead us instead along others that are steeper and narrower. I’m learning that wandering is an essential part of this equation. For within a wandering heart lies faithful trust in the Divine Creator, who is always ready to guide us onward. The hard part is allowing ourselves to be led by Him.
I still consider myself a wanderer over here in Uganda. I still question many crazy thoughts and dreams. Yet, I hold fast to the signposts placed upon my path to see and travel more easily.
Let us journey onward with joy 🙂