Suitcase Life, Change, A Beautiful Love Story

I have spent the last two months living out of a suitcase. Just two months ago, I walked out my front door and 24 hours later landed in Cape Town, South Africa.
One week later, Kent and I left for Namibia. Three weeks later, South Africa…for a day. Then Lesotho. Then South Africa. Then Zanzibar. Then Tanzania. Then Kilimanjaro (which is in Tanzania, but deserves a category all of its own.) Then Rwanda. 

Today, Kent went back to Cape Town. I flew to Uganda. I’m in Kampala now. He heads back to the states in a few days. It was weird to get on a plane without Kent today. We’ve worked together/hung out/stayed at the same place for the past two months. We became a pretty good team in the midst of it, and had a blast. Seriously, we didn’t have one blow up convo. Crazy. Usually I would fight someone I was around all the time for two months, but Kent and I had a great time traveling together.

So I’m in Kampala, Uganda now, and I’m staying at a Backpackers hostel. Today could be one of those, “Oh man, the next month is gonna be sooo tough without Kent around…this is really gonna suck being on my own” but I don’t see life like that. It’s still go time. I’m still on the mission.

It was crazy to drive into Kampala tonight. I felt a heaviness in this country I haven’t felt other places. Maybe it is the wake of Kony and the LRA or something else…I’m not sure. I feel like I’m in a sacred place. I’m praying doors will be opened for the Teacher’s Bible project over here with Africa International Missions.

I’ve noticed something in the midst of this “living out of a suitcase” life I’m living. There are stages.

1) You feel like you’re behind the eight ball. You can’t understand their accents and the word you say most is, “What?”
2) The blur begins to slow. However, people are now “all up in my bidness (Michael Scott line)” and they need to back off now. 
3) These people are living stories that I have never lived. I’m living a story they might not understand. They are important. I wish the language barrier and cultural frustrations weren’t present.
4) These people have faces that are very expressive. Each face is a window to their hearts. I hope their hearts find true love.

I wish I had the spiritual maturity that I lived at stage 4 all the time. I’m often between 1-3. Sometimes I’m at 4. Love is what matters. Love is what lasts.

One of my friends did something for some of his friends. One of his them said to him, “God is going to reward you for this with a beautiful love story.” 

I’ve been thinking about a beautiful love story today. I think there’s this quiet hope in our hearts that we’ll walk into that beautiful love story. Or maybe we tell ourselves that story would never happen to us, so we live tragic stories of selfishness.

I think everyone deserves a beautiful love story. I’m really not an expert on this love thing. I just think God gave us that desire because He wants it for us. Here is my thought about having a beautiful love story. 

Love stories happen everyday. It is up to you to make it beautiful. No one is going to do it for you. You have to make it beautiful.

I’m thinking of some of the excellent landscaping I saw in Rwanda. That didn’t happen by accident. Rwanda had a genocide happen in 1994. Now, the nation is developing into a classy, educated, respectful society. The people are quiet, warm and full of joy. The flowers on islands in the streets, the hedging of grass by sidewalks, and the lovely palm trees strategically planted make it a more beautiful place. Because they don’t want to be defined by what was. They want to be defined by what is and what will be. They want it to be beautiful.

If you want a beautiful love story, choose to make it beautiful. Respect yourself. Respect them. Honor God. Be honest and forthright. Deal in reality. Create something beautiful out of something that will otherwise become typical. You and I weren’t made for typical. We were made for God’s best. A beautiful love story. Even if it seems out of reach, it isn’t. You just might need to pull some weeds first. I know I do. And never stop weeding and watering. Plant on purpose. What you sow grows. I hope it’s something beautiful. 



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