I often feel like I live in some sort of limbo between two worlds. When I am in the States, my heart longs for Nigeria and the people I love there. And then when I am in Nigeria, my heart longs for the US and the people I love here. But, right now, I feel so torn between so many different roles and worlds, that life really is strange for me.
I am currently a full-time student at Moody Bible Institute, which means I am living much of my life alongside students who are close to half my age. But while most of the kids in class look like they just rolled out of bed to show up to class, I woke up at 4 because my 2 year old was having night terrors and needed to be soothed back to sleep. Then I went back to bed until 5 . At 5 I got up and quietly snuck into the shower so that I wouldn’t wake up anyone else and so that I would get to use the only shower in the house before my teenagers woke up. Then I got my two high schoolers up for school and then made sure my junior high student was getting ready before I rushed around and got myself ready and hopped on the train at 6:20. Then I rode the train for 45 minutes and then walked a half hour so that I could get to school by my 8:00 class.
I didn’t waste my time on the train though. I sat and answered texts and e-mails from my staff in Nigeria. We discussed pay issues for the staff that were working extra to cover another staff who was on leave and we discussed issues with one of our residents current legal case.
Then while sitting in class, I got texts from John about all the activities of my six kids for the day. We have to line up all of our schedules or we just don’t get everything done. We also discussed rather or not our kids are sick enough to go to the doctor and if so, when will we have time to take them. Then we had to discuss who will watch our kids while we travel to speak next week, because while being a full-time student, mom, and wife, I am also a missionary who needs to keep people focused on what we are doing in Nigeria, or we will lose the privilege of being in Nigeria.
Then, I have a couple hours break before my next class. This is when I do my homework. I try to get as much done as possible so that I can focus on my family when I return home.
Most days, my last class evens around 1 and then I head back on the train, I spend the train ride reading for my next assignment, and then I come home. Now, it is time to be mom. That means, I have to take time to snuggle with Joshua, head to whatever sport meet I have been assigned to attend while John attends one of the other ones. I check homework, listen to all the adventures of the Camiola kids for the day, and then try to get my house clean and another load of laundry done. Then comes bed time for most, it is finish homework time for me. Then if I can manage to get 7 hours of sleep, I feel successful!
All of this may have sounded like I was complaining, but I am really not. For the last 17 years, I have been wanting to go back to school. And while I remember little of what I learned in college 20 years ago, all I am learning now is sinking in because I know what I am really learning for this time. I have faces in front of me when I learn about victims of sexual trafficking. I have faces in front of me when I learn how to counsel those who are hurting. I also have real life experience to apply this new knowledge about self-care and mentoring.
I am currently working very hard to get everything done, but I am also praising God all the time. The other day I walked to the train and it was freezing. But I was bouncing my way down the road with deep conversation in my mind with my God. I was just praising Him for all that He is allowing me to learn and all He has already taught me. I am a privileged woman who gets the privilege of filling so many roles and loving so many people. I am also loved by so many people and by so great a God! Life right now is hard, but I have learned time and time again, the easy routes is rarely the best route!