Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Family Update- Part I

Because we had for so long written these letters for our family, friends and prayer supporters to tell you of our progress towards the mission field, it’s tempting to stop sending them now.  We’re still the same people though, with the same loves, and we believe you still care about us, so here’s an update on what we’ve been up to. 
In 2013 we attended Annual Conference with our mission agency, and at that Conference, we resigned.  Each time our resignation came up on the agenda, something happened that pushed it back, hour after hour.  By the time our team voted to accept our resignation, I had become a teary mess and headed back to my room to clean myself up. 
It hurt to walk away from WEC for a number of reasons.  We loved that location and the people at the sending base, and wanted to walk alongside them as they elected new leaders and moved ahead in key areas.  More than that, leaving WEC sealed the fact that we’d given up on our dreams and plans to live on a foreign mission field.  That HURTS.  One sweet friend who went through Candidate class with us and happened to be on the sending base that week, back from her first assignment, saw me on campus watching the kids and asked me how I was.  I answered politely that I was “fine,” but she didn’t accept it.  “Don’t lie,” she said, smiling.  “I know you’re not fine.”  How I appreciate that God sent a sister who had recently seen her share of pain and disappointment, with whom I could grieve honestly. 
But we have moved forward in our grief, and I even visited the WEC campus again r last winter and again in the fall, something I thought I would never want to do because of my grief.  Psalms 147:3 says of God, “He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.”  Later in verse 11 it says, “The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.” 
That is what we have had to do in the past two years since we made the decision.  With no idea where to turn with our gifts, talents and desire to serve God and see His Kingdom grow, all that we could do was hope.  We hoped that God had better things in store for us.  That He didn’t simply keep us home because we are not adequate to the task of missions or because, as some have said, my Mom was about to get very sick, or for our kids’ needs...rather, we simply had to believe, to hope, that He had a better plan for us.  I will ev
en say that those nearly eight years since we sold our house and became nomads for Christ, bounced from job to job, and even had a terrible, major truck & camper accident, were not wasted but parts of His plan and purpose for our lives.  We may never understand how He will use those things to shape us, although I see glimmers sometimes. 
More than two years have passed, and I do wish I were writing today to say that, aha, we see it now and know where God wants us to go and what He wants us to do.  But we don’t see or know.  How we’d like to!  We’ve run up to a few more dead ends looking for God’s will.  I won’t pretend it’s easy to live like we do right now.  We continue to grieve.  We’re in a better place financially that we had been in quite some time, but still rely on Todd’s parents letting us use this house, to make ends meet.  We’re thankful for the jobs & opportunities God provides, but still long for more meaning and purpose in the daily grind.  I hope that as I write you can hear my heart as I try to balance gratitude and trust with this longing for meaningful work and a home of our own.

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