“I’m not pregnant!”
I hadn’t anticipated needing to clarify that little detail on a regular basis upon my return to the home of the brave-…silly, silly me. I give you my conversation with the Chik-fil-a lady several days ago.
Me: I’d like a number one with a Dr. Pepper, please! I’m so excited about this-I’ve been waiting nine months to order that sandwich!
Chik-fil-a lady: Oh BLESS your heart, you just had a baby!
Ahem. I am now telling people that I was in Africa for TEN months as opposed to nine, and I invite you to join me in boycotting Chik-fil-a. [Okay, not really. As if any of us could anyways-I think they lace the chicken with crack.] I am, however, seriously re-considering becoming best friends with every cashier in North Carolina.
As of today, I have back home for exactly one week! Already it feels like the time is flying-I’m rather astonished at just how much I’ve been able to fit into just seven days. My welcome home party was a lot of fun-some of my favorite people turned up to go to Fosters Market in Chapel Hill with me, and then we all ended up walking around together on campus with giant cups
of coffee. There are few things in the world that I love more than walking around campus when twilight falls-on the winding, brick pathways that leisurely weave through the lush, green campus, past the ancient, southern columns that have stood watch for centuries as students just like me have run frantically to make that 8:00 AM class. There’s just something about it-the smell of the magnolia trees, that perfectly elegant Carolina blend of bowties and books…UNC never became commonplace and tired to me. To this day, any time I’m on campus, my breath catches and my heart flutters, and I am once again overwhelmingly thankful to have had the privilege of attending the most excellent, breathtaking University in the world.
I’m done gushing. :)
After walking around campus, we all drove to Michael’s house where I learned that I rock band isn’t nearly as easy as I had always imagined it would be. The next day, a bunch of friends and I went to Top of the Hill [one of Chapel Hill’s more famous restaurants] to celebrate Nicole’s birthday. I had wondered if large groups of people would overwhelm me after having spent the past nine months with just four other people-but I loved it. :)
Sunday was incredible. Gretchen picked me up bright and early, and we ran to Summit [my home church] together. I’m not a crier at all, but as I stood singing worship songs in English, tears sprang to my eyes and I was simply overwhelmed by how good God has been to me over the past year. It was
unbelievably refreshing to be back at Summit-listening to a sermon in English [not on my ipod!] for a change! Towards the end of the service, I found myself tearing up again as I began to think about my Muslim friends in Africa, who still need Jesus so desperately. There’s something that feels unfair when I stand in a huge auditorium filled with hundreds of people that know and love Jesus-…and then I think about how very few people even know His name just an eight hour plane ride away in Senegal. What a dismal contrast. As I drive around RDU, I pass what feels like a church on literally every corner-…what I would give to transplant some of them to areas of the world where there are none.
I opted to stay home for the 4th of July-given that it’s the only
holiday I’m home for this year. My Dad grilled steaks and we had some friends over-I love having parents that love to entertain! This morning, Dad and I went to get onion bagels [divine!] and coffee, and then I started working on developing my financial support for next year. [A rather daunting task that will occupy my days for the rest of my time in the US.] I am currently at about 30% of where I need to be-stay tuned!
Tomorrow is my first pre-op appointment for my surgery-I get to spend the evening at the hospital. Mom has promised that if I’m good, I’ll get a caramel