Monday, February 10, 2014

I'd Rather Be in Africa

Can we just be honest for a few minutes? 
Can we talk about hard things? 

I miss Africa. 
But probably not for the reasons you are thinking. 

It's been almost a year and a half since I left Africa, and I miss it every single day. 

Africa and the way God used it to open my eyes to those in need-- it changed me. 
I don't worry about the things I used to. 
I still worry plenty, just not so much about myself. 
In fact, I think that's one thing that made getting over the chicken pox so hard for me-- for the first time in a year I've really been concerned with my appearance. 
I don't say that to mean that I don't get dressed up or don't take care of myself; it's just that I realize there are so many other things about myself that I'd rather focus on making 'beautiful' than my appearance. 

I live in a tiny town where I didn't grow up. 
We've lived here for two years. 
And while I have been blessed to find a handful of true friends here, I so often feel like I don't belong. 
My priorities are different. 
My heart beats for different things than most of the women in my town. 
I'm not better or worse-- just different. 

I think about social injustice and the needs of others in the world the way most people in the South think about football (and as a football coach's wife, I can totally say that). 
I worry about my daughter who is growing up on the other side of the world. 
And most people I know in real life have never been out of the country. 
They've never really thought about orphan care or injustice. 
Their daughter isn't sleeping in the dirt, and they don't have to worry about whether or not she'll eat today. 
I don't say that to talk badly about these people-- it's not that they wouldn't care about these things, they just aren't at the forefront of their minds. 

So, while most of the women in town are thinking about whether or not it will snow tonight, I'm thinking of how I can work to help bring my daughter home. What can I do to help increase awareness where I live? How can I help them see? 

At the end of the day, I know it's Jesus who opens our eyes to the things He cares about. 
But I still feel called to do whatever I can. 

Everyone has a cause. 
Some are fighting for better education systems.
Some are fighting to stop puppy mills. 
Some are fighting to find a cure for childhood cancer. 
Some are simply trying to keep their heads above water.

God gives us hearts for different things.
And I am so glad He does. 
If we were all just worried about solving one problem, very little would get done.

But it's hard. 
It's hard when I post something on facebook about social injustice and only ten people like it, but then I post something my daughter said and my facebook wall all but blows up with likes. 
It leaves me feel very alone and very isolated. 
It's hard to not feel like my cause is the most important cause. 
It's hard to not be bitter or angry when I talk about what's on my heart and am met with a sea of blank stares and vacant expressions. 

It's hard when I can honestly say that I felt more at home in Africa than I ever have here. 

But even on the hardest of days, I wouldn't change it. 
I spent almost thirty years as the girl whose eyes were closed. 
I was the girl who, for the most part, was worried about me far more than I worried about others. 
I was the girl who was totally clueless in terms of what was going on around the world. 
And even though at times I just want to cry in an attempt to fight the urge to 'fit it', 
I still wouldn't take it back. 

I would so much rather feel totally alone on a daily basis knowing that I'm right where God wants me for now than to live a life that is anything less than that.....even on the loneliest of days. 


  1. You are so precious, McCall. You inspire me to seek out knowledge, to open my own eyes and the eyes of others. I'm blessed to have crossed paths with you! Just another beautiful thing that Noonday has done for me. :-)

  2. McCall, I met you last month at the Noonday conference but am really enjoying getting to know your world through your writing. I want you to know that you aren't alone in these feelings. At. All. I just had that same conversation with my husband recently .... feeling like I care about vastly different things than the friends and people in my community. It feels lonely. The Noonday gathering in Austin showed me that there ARE godly women out there who care about social injustice, who are passionate about it, encouraging of one another, and are willing to do something about it. Here in my hometown (I'm in CO), I am constantly spouting off statistics and stories that blow my mind about the injustices around the world. I am passionate about it .... and it's tough when those conversations just come to a screeching halt with crickets and blank stares. Sometimes I wish that we could bring that tribe of passionate women a little closer to home. You know?

  3. Hi! I read your guest post on MS Women's Bloggers and just had to stop by...then this is the first post I saw? "I'd rather be in Africa" is the story of my life. I can't wait to get to know you more!

  4. I didn't want to go to Africa; my employment forced it on me. It changed my worldview; I was undone. So I took my wife. Same thing; it took a year for her to understand and assimilate what she'd experienced. All good. Our lives are forever changed, and we've got many friends there, families that have adopted us. After a couple of dozen trips (46 hours one way), I still want to go back. :)


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