“I need Thee every hour…”
The words float through the air as my soapy hands lift high above my head.
“in joy or pain…”
Tears form and spill down my cheeks into the dishwater.
“come quickly and abide or life is vain…”
My head lowers over my kitchen sink in awe of my Savior.
"I need Thee, Oh, I need Thee. Every hour I need thee, oh bless me now my savior, I come to thee."
I need Him every hour. Oh, how I need Him every hour. How life truly is vain – unless He is with me, unless I am with Him. Unless He abides in me…and I in Him. Unless His love is coursing through my veins, there is no purpose in my life. I need Him, oh, I need Him.
I run to Thee. Come almost doesn’t seem to be strong enough a word. I don’t just come to Thee, I run to Thee. Pushing all else aside. I come running. Arms open wide, hands raised, heart desperate to be loved, soul needing to be held and cherished: I run.
As the hymns played…as my soul was bared before my Savior…as the tears streamed…as my voice rang out in praise to my God…I felt free. I felt lifted. I felt at home. I felt at peace. I felt like I belonged. I felt like I am who I really am.
There are times when I do not feel like I am Amy Washington.
At least not the Amy Washington I am used to. At least not the Amy Washington I have known for most of the years of my life.
I have cried many tears, been very frustrated and confused, and felt so discouraged at times…simply because it would hit me – I am not me. Since being back and living in Uganda, I am not me. I do not seem like the same person. I would even tell people, “I miss myself.” The Amy Washington I know is confident. Capable. Knowledgeable. Intelligent and smart. And I say all of this not in a prideful way, but with utter humility and humiliation. I am used to the Amy Washington who can “do anything”. Who knows it all. Is the problem-solver, not the problem-creator. The Amy Washington I know is not a burden to others or the “prayer request” – she is the one doing the praying for others. She is the rock. The steady one. The logical, sensible, reasonable one.
But this Amy Washington. The one in Uganda. The one who left America and came to Uganda – again. The one who can’t light the charcoal stove correctly. Who can’t cook with Ugandan food. Who doesn’t have a vehicle. Who doesn’t know where the best doctor is. Who doesn’t know what Ugandan medicine to give. Who burns dinner.Who knows seemingly nothing. Who is not capable. Who can’t speak the language or understand what her children are saying to her. Who doesn’t know the cultural differences and messes up. Who gets sick all the time. Who is most of the time an absolute mess.
This Amy Washington.
I get frustrated with.
This Amy Washington.
Is harder to be.
This Amy Washington.
I am still not used to.
And yet this Amy Washington.
Is still the same.
I am still the same, and yet I am so different. I have been changed since stepping onto the red dirt soil of Uganda for the first time two years ago. God has changed me. and Honestly, I do not want to go back to the Amy Washington that I knew before. That Amy Washington was too confident in herself. Didn’t rely on God for strength for every moment and every decision she made. That Amy Washington would yes, have her “quiet time” and sing to the Lord, even cry out to Him when the troubles and very hard times of life hit…but she didn’t weep while holding a dying baby in her arms and have to silently beg Jesus to give her words to say to the father who just lost his first born son. She didn’t fall on her face in her bedroom and cry over the heartbreaking life experiences of her so-young child. She didn’t know the desperation of starving people…not really. She didn’t know the faces of the orphaned…not really…not like she now knows the faces of her own children. She didn’t know the fear of a young expectant mother terrified of dying and leaving her unborn child with no one...not really. She didn’t know what the groans and cries of a mother who has lost her beloved child sounded like…not really.
That Amy Washington didn’t know…really. She may have thought she did or thought she had an idea…she didn’t.
This Amy Washington knows…really.
And although painful, and heart wrenching and difficult and draining…these things are a blessing. All of these experiences and people and the life I now live…has drawn me closer to my Savior. And if that is what it took, I praise His holy name with everything inside of me.
Amy Washington is always changing…to, Lord-willing, be more like her Jesus. She is still the same Amy Washington who daily, hourly – minutely – needs her Savior. And she is changing to need her Savior even more every day, hour and minute. It may look different; I may be on another continent, but my Jesus reminds me…I am the same Amy Washington, just always changing. And He is still my same constant Savior, never changing. My heart still yearns for His love. My soul still longs to worship. My body still desires to serve.
And so…I wash dishes. I stand before my sink as I stand before my Maker.And in this moment...I feel like Amy Washington. I feel like I truly am the Amy Washington who belongs solely to Jesus Christ.
My heart is still the same. No matter what country. No matter what continent. No matter which house. No matter surrounded by which people. My heart is still His. I am still my Savior’s beloved. I am still God’s child. I still cry out for my Savior. I still so desperately need His love and grace.
I’m still the same normal, crazy girl who stands at the kitchen sink with pajamas still on at 2pm, hair still wet with hair dye from morning attempts to hide the gray, soapy hands raised above her head, and heart poured out before her Savior.
Yes. I am still me. Much might have changed. Much might be changing. Much will change. But Jesus gently reminds me, “You are Mine. Your heart is Mine. And that will never change. You still need Me. Every hour…you need Me. and Amy, that, too, will never change.”
“I need Thee every hour in joy or pain.
Come quickly and abide or life is vain.
I need Thee, Oh, I need Thee. Every hour I need Thee.
Oh, bless me now my Savior. I come to Thee.”