Stateside

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I have been in the DC area for over a month now.  It seems like a long time ago that I quit my job, packed up my earthly belongings, climbed in my car, and drove halfway across the country.  It honestly still surprises me that I did that, that that was me.  I shake my head with an astonished chuckle.  I did it.  There is something deeply liberating and right in it.

Although I am eager to join my team in Uganda, this fellowship seems like the best of both worlds.  In addition to deploying to support the case work and structural reform project of a field office abroad, I first get to be a part of IJM headquarters, riding the metro, donning business suits, and enjoying a two month taste of living & working in our beautiful, bustling capital city.  On days when I am in the office I partake in corporate prayer at 11am when we lift up requests and praise for the work in our field offices around the world.  I get goosebumps hearing about the courage of our staff and clients attributable only to God breaking through darkness and brokenness.  We see it daily.  The God of love and justice moves.

Personally, it has been a good month.  The change of scenery and pace has been good.  I work full days and enjoy a solid commute with a book, music, or reflection.  I have so many less commitments and social engagements–and it is good—  even for a social butterfly like myself 😉  I have been running myself ragged for too long for too many reasons that beg reflection.  It has been good to rest, sit, take walks, cook meals, read, listen to good music.  It has been a sweet time with God, too, facing the brokenness I try pridefully to disguise and ignore.   IJM has 30 minutes of stillness built into each day to meet with the Lord and entrust our work to Him.  What a difference—I am such a distracted “do-er”.  Isaiah has been moving my world lately.  There has been a return to a level of intimacy and companionship I have been missing out on for far too long.

Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
-Isaiah 43:18-19

Also, through generous friends I have tagged along on a trip to Philadelphia and New York City with Alexis and her family and a trip to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware with my Chile study abroad BFF, Emily.  I learned to play Settlers of Catan and began watching The West Wing from the beginning (appropriate, I know).  I have also begun a surprising habit of watching an episode of How I Met Your Mother before bed and a crazed obsession with Pinterest (help!).  I have survived an earthquake, a hurricane, and the downgrade of US debt (did my move here cause these extraordinary events???)  And put your mind at ease–I found the DC Mizzou Alumni Association to have Tiger community now that–thank goodness–it’s football season again!!  A hearty welcome to you, Autumn!

Thanks for your love & support.  Happy Labor Day!

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About nataliemma

This blog [infrequently] documented my work as a structural transformation design fellow with International Justice Mission's Uganda field office. I spent two months researching in Washington DC before deploying to Uganda to design structural recommendations in line with IJM's mission of providing improved access to and distribution of justice to the world's global poor through local public justice systems. I'm a Mizzou grad, St. Louis native, and MBA with five years of operations experience in finance.

3 responses »

  1. Man, I’m glad you mentioned your new blog in your comment on mine! You had said you posted the email you had written, and I kept checking your blogger for it! You probably announced this blog on Facebook & I missed out. I take full responsibility.

    I probably tear up about 50% of the time I read a blog post or email from you. You move me.

    I love what you said about it still surprising you that you DID IT. Every few days I “remember” that you DID IT, and get overjoyed. Who does this?? YOU did it! Wow.

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