Before you go thinking this is a waste of time because of the title and you are probably thinking: “Well Heather lives in Africa, she should be used to no water,” please let me shed some light on the situation.
We have exactly two massive black poly tanks that hold water. These water towers are sometimes our main source of water and most times our reserve of water, if for some reason the “city” water gets shut off. One of our poly tanks feeds into the other, so at any given time one or the other should have water.
With all of that being said the other day one of our roommates texted us all to inform us that we were officially out of water. Both poly tanks were empty; city water had been shut off for more than a few days now. Gone. Nothing. Not. A. Drop. This is Africa so we roll with it, right? Wrong! You would think by now that living in Africa has brought me to achieve an all time amount of humility in life, and truth is most days I am humbled and simply grateful for a new day. In fact I always tell people back home that living in West Africa definitely keeps me humble and less reliant on myself. Oh how the Lord is probably laughing right now for that comment. Somehow even amongst waterless, phasing power situations, a bout with malaria and typhoid, and unreliable Internet, my puny little sinner human self-righteous self still feels like I am owed something in this world. Entitled is the word I use with my students often.
Our roommate in her informative text also said: “Can one of you please find out how we can get some more water?” (She was sick with Typhoid so don’t go thinking, “Why didn’t she call someone to do something about it.” Trust me if you have had Typhoid, you wouldn’t be moving much either and you would pray that water returned quickly for the sake of using the restroom).
What did we proceed to do, (well my roommates proceeded to do because I had the attitude of well this is Africa it will sort itself out eventually or I will just deal with it when I get home); they began to try and find a solution. As humans I believe we have this “fix it” nature. Not just guys but girls too. We always want to find a solution to the problem or fix our mistakes. My best friend is this way, she is constantly looking for a more efficient way to do things, fix a common sense issue, or find a solution to my simple venting of how my day went. I think this is just how we are wired sometimes. Usually I error on the laissez faire, fly by the seat of my pants, free spirit mentality (or so I have been told this by my family) and usually not much phases me. Notice I said “usually.” Oh how I am human too.
My roommate informed me that they were calling a water tank truck to come deliver a full tank of water to our house. This truck looks much like a gasoline tanker truck, however it holds water and they pump it into your poly tanks. She informed me that it costs us 100 Ghana Cedi (about 50 USD…well a little less than that due to always changing exchange rates, but that is a different blog post) and we would split it 4 ways. Problem solved. AWESOME.
By the time I got home that night after coaching girls soccer practice, my roommate had texted everyone and said we have water. I was excited because I smelled like a middle school boy who had not discovered deodorant yet because I had practice that day with my girls. However when I got home my sweet roommate Laura was preparing to do laundry with our new found water, and when she ran the water it started to fill up brown.
BROWN. MURKY. DIRTY. CUP OF TEA COLORED. BROWN.
I quickly ran into my bathroom to run my tap water and sure enough, yep, brown there as well!
I went to bed that night feeling restless. I woke up at 12:05 a.m. to the sound of what I thought was the world ending, only to realize that it was RAIN! Real, fresh, pounding the ground rain. We had not had rain in a very long time. When it rains on our roof it is so loud and glorious. I literally could not fall back asleep because the sound was so amazing. I was in awe. I tried recording it to post on here but when replayed it merely sounds like a sound machine for a toddler’s bedroom.
Lying awake from the glorious rainstorm at 12:05 a.m. is when this revelation came to me: “Why did we not simply wait for the rainstorm to pass.” Our human selves decided that we needed to fix the problem and fix it now, and where did that get us? With murky, dirty, brown water, that is where it got us. Instead we could have waited out the storm (which we had seen coming all day), and allow our tanks to be filled with clean and fresh rainwater. Instead we were stuck with a 100 Cedi worth of water, also known as two giant black poly tanks full of murky, dirty, brown water, until it runs out.
This has been the theme in my life lately. (Despite me being a school counselor and professionally being required to help children and older students fix their problems) Too often I have been the one trying to fix something whether it involves my job, my students, my friends and the problems they voice to me, issues back home, you name it and I am pretty sure I have tried to fix it or come up with a solution. I can tell you where it has led me, to murky, brown water. What I need to be doing is resting in God’s truths and waiting patiently for the rainstorm to pass. My tank will in return be full again with fresh and clean rainwater.
I am not sorry we hopped on the honesty train there for a minute and I got all serious and not my typical humorous tone, I want others to know that we do not always have to try to fix everything on our own. The truth from this is that we need God; we cannot do this life alone because it will lead you to brown, dirty, murky waters. You will get restless, you will be drained, you will feel like you are in a funk 24/7, you will become a doormat, you name it, insert depressing feeling here. The moment we start trying to do it all on our own, we fail big time.
Surrender. Surrender yourself to the Lord and draw close to Him. If you are not sure how, please holla at a sister and we will talk real life. It is tough, but well worth it. Keep leaning in and keep saying yes to the Lord’s promptings in our lives. Stop trying to handle your business all on your own. Stop taking everyone else’s business upon your shoulders and trying to find a solution. Rather rest in the Lord, His truths, and His promises, and surrender these things, situations, people, relationships, jobs, etc. to the Lord and see how He works in and through you.
Love & Prayers!
P.S. – No worries my typhoid is 100% better now, as is my roommate.