Sunday, 24 September 2017

A New Season Ahead

I’ve been back in Australia for over one year now. It’s been full of ups and downs.
In the first eight months of being back in my home town, I couldn’t see much purpose in being where I was except that God had called me to be there. So many days I struggled with loneliness and a lost sense of purpose. In my mind there’s nowhere to go but forwards and so as the days ticked on, I tried new things. I found a new job where I could be challenged and learn new skills, I found a new church that I love and I knew I was where God had placed me, in a season of waiting. I felt challenged to live in that waiting, as uncomfortable as it was. I struggled and wrestled and still do some days. It’s hard to live in a state of discomfort, both physically and mentally. I’ve done a lot of both this year as I’ve struggled with body aches and often constant discomfort, but the mental anguish is harder. It has been way harder than I thought it would be to return to the same town I grew up in. It has been hard to live as a single 30 year old female in a town full of married friends who are now busy wives and mothers. I have made myself as useful as possible, hanging out washing, bringing it in, bathing kids, feeding them, babysitting, playing in parks, having tea parties and generally hanging out. In the process I have loved all of it and tucked away lots of very special memories.

I have lived with one of my sisters since coming home who has been studying really, really hard to pass her emergency medicine trainee exams. As hard as it has been to watch her struggle through endless days of study (up to 11 hours a day on her days ‘off’), it has been an incredible privilege to support her and help her get through them as well as she can (and she passed them both!!!!!!). Basically it means that I kept the house clean and stocked with food! She has also been a pillar of support, understanding my passion for providing healthcare to those whose countries aren’t providing it for them and knowing how it feels to come home to an empty, dark house at the end of the day.

I have enjoyed so much about being back in Australia. I have been around for my newest nephew’s whole life! I have been so blessed to have most of my family close around me, available to hang out almost any time.

We’ve all been through waiting seasons. They aren’t fun, but one of the many books that I’ve read during this period challenged me to ask myself what I was learning. At the time I was actually stumped, but as time passed I realised I was learning all sorts of things; endurance, how to trust that God has my future, how to live and still praise Him in the discomfort, to look for places to serve now, to choose joy and always be thankful.

The sister that I’m living with will be moving from this town at the beginning of next year, leaving me without furniture (because I own nothing!), a house and my favourite housemate ever. As disappointing and sad as this felt when I heard the news from her, I was excited for her and had always felt like our time together was an unexpected blessing. I wondered quite a lot about what my next step would be, what would I do with my time and passion, where would I live if I stayed here considering I always felt it was temporary, but I also felt like I didn’t have to have the answer yet. I needed to wait. So I waited.

Then one day I got a message from a friend on the ship asking me if I’d like to return and fill a position that had a gap. After much consideration, prayer and people closest to me discussing it, I’ve decided to go! (insert emoji with ear to ear grin!!) I will be the Ward Nurse Maxillofacial Team Leader to finish off the Cameroon outreach from the end of January to June 2018 and I’m really excited! So excited that this week that I went and got three vaccinations!
Before this year finishes though, I’m heading to the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the UK, to do my Diploma of Tropical Nursing. It is a 3 week crash course in all things tropical nursing so despite the fact that I’ve seen worms come out of the body in many places and all sorts of other creepy crawlies, it will increase my knowledge and I am excited to learn more.

I won’t return home until the week before Christmas so I must get organised before I go! Once I return there will be Christmas celebrations, New Years, a new niece entering the world and lots of packing and goodbyes.

As I sit here and think about the year that has passed and the new season ahead, all I can think is: I have a lot to be thankful for and excited about!!


  1. Deb! I'm excited for you... in many ways, though in different ways, I've been in a season of waiting for about 3 years now. Completely God's doing, completely not what a thought as I bounded on into this chapter. It's been mentally, spiritually, soul-fully exhausting - what a ride!
    I do, however, concur with your lessons learned & remain strengthened in trust.

    Anyhow... it was dear to me to read your words. One day.. one day we'll have a coffee ��

    1. I would love to have a coffee with you and catch up on years full of lessons and love. xx

  2. My heart overflows with joy for you, love you!

  3. What a beautiful family you have, Deb, and how blessed you are to have had their support during this time of transition. We are grateful that your prayers have lead you back to the Africa Mercy and can't wait to welcome you back with open arms!

  4. So excited for you!!! Hope the tropical medicine course went well!! Looking forward to reading more updates!

  5. Good to see things are working out for you again:) Life is full of obstacles that confront us all which can be hard to see past them some times.

  6. Have a Happy New Year for 2018 :)



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