The last two days our topics of training have been -
Honestly, it's been more than my mind and heart were prepared to hear. We will be leaving behind so much. And, we were asked to name it - all...
The reality is...
We are separating our children from their grandparents.
Our children will grow up without their friends and cousins living life with them. As will we.
We will miss the weenie roasts at Camp Zion.
Our Life Group will go on without us.
The boys' forts and tree houses they have built might be gone when we return.
Our friends will be making memories we will not be a part of.
My nephew will come home from Ethiopia and I won't be at the airport to greet him, much less know him.
Friends are bringing home adopted children who will not have a relationship with our family, and I thought our kids would grow up together.
We will miss the annual Family Reunion and the Duck Race on the River.
Our family holidays will not be celebrated with our entire family - just the seven of us. We will miss acting out the Christmas story, singing Christmas carols, working the Christmas puzzle.
Our boys will miss their school. Their friends.
I'll miss sharing a cup of coffee with a friend and talking about life.
I'll miss our back deck with the birds chirping in the springtime.
I'll miss the ease of a talking on the phone to friends and family in the same time zone.
I'll miss marshmallows, Reese Pieces, and Dr. Pepper.
I'll miss hot showers, drinking water from the faucet, and easy computer access.
I'll miss the laughter of friends and the voices I would recognize anywhere.
Etc. Etc. Etc. It's too much to list.
Why do we need to recognize all of this? Why do we need to "feel" it?
Grieving needs to happen for us. We are encouraged to step into it instead of stuffing it down. The reality of the impact to GO can shake us. BUT, it doesn't. It can't. We need to grieve some now and some later. It will be a process. A process that's beginning in the depths of my soul tonight.
While these things hurt deeply, we are excited to GO. God is going before us. He will somehow meet us in our tears and redeem them.
God's world is much larger than what we see and experience in our daily life. Even with all of the things we will miss, grieve and long for once we are on the ground in Ghana, God's world is so much bigger. These are small gifts from my life to lay at his feet.
Embracing the pain in anticipation of the JOY of witnessing Him work makes it worth it.
One quote from this week has stuck with me,
"I hope you hurt deeply. If you hurt deeply it will mean you have loved deeply
and that you have been loved."
So, please help me, Lord. I need your grace and strength to fill me in the days ahead. Let us love deeply. Let us choose suffering over safety. Let us "feel" it. Thank you for showing me your gifts, as I see the things we are leaving behind. You are so good to us. Thank you.
For you shall not go out in haste, and you shall not go in flight, for the LORD will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.