Truthfully, I hadn’t realized how deeply I had buried the trauma of leaving my daughter (in a place that absolutely terrified me) to fly home without her in my arms over three years ago. I hadn’t realized how scarred I was from the exhausting and defeating-at-times battles to get her home. I hadn’t realized how weary I had become from the ministry work we started several years ago, the work that has ebbed and flowed and changed and grown in miraculous ways, the work that has opened our eyes and our hearts and expanded our lives so incredulously. I hadn’t realized how this same work began to creep in and shape my identity. I didn’t see how I began to place value in the work, in the doing and the striving.
I hadn’t realized any of these things until God asked me to step onto an airplane with my husband and my four small children and fly over the sea.
I hadn’t realized the strength and magnitude of fear until I had to relinquish my comfort and my control and go where He led. Until I could step away from the distractions of life, I couldn’t really see how bound I was by my fears. I didn’t see the direct connection to one place – the country of my daughter’s birth. When God asked us to go and spend time in other African nations, I couldn’t quite understand. I couldn’t see it. I couldn’t see the way He was redeeming and healing and providing renewed hope and a refreshed spirit. I couldn’t see the starting place, the place where new work would begin for our family. Even now, as we settle in back home, I know more is to come. I know the nations of South Africa and Zimbabwe are forever tethered to our family.
The time away was full. Healing began, connections deepened, quiet moments ushered in a new pace: a slower, less frantic and frazzled pace.
When I think back on our time away, I think of a few really beautiful words: Intentionality. Laughter. Calm. Contentment. & Joy.
As I continue to settle back in and start sleeping at normal times again, I imagine my brain will start functioning again:). So I promise to share some more lessons learned from our time in Africa, as well as specifics about the cities we visited and the places we stayed. Stay tuned and happy Tuesday, friends!