God shut a door.
It’s as simple and as complicated as that.
We had a trip planned to visit Congo next month. A trip full of influential people willing and ready to invest time and energy and resources into the work we have committed to there. The first HOPE center would launch. I anticipated God’s provision pouring out and felt the palpable excitement over what was unfolding. It felt like the culmination of three years of hard work, and the realization of a dream of implementing sustainable, community-empowering long-term change.
Then, the door shut. Political tensions are currently high, our team on the ground worried for our safety and theirs.
The trip was cancelled.
It felt like a punch in the gut. All of the work halted. The team will now visit Uganda and see the amazing work being done there by our Help One Now partners. Good will come out of the trip, absolutely. Yet, for me personally, I’m left feeling untethered. I could still join the team and travel. Yet, Dave and I both felt unsettled about me traveling without the Congo portion of the trip taking place. We couldn’t justify the expense of both money and time. Although, I wanted to go. I wanted the adventure. I wanted to step foot on African soil again. I wanted to love on little ones afar. Even still, I could see my place wasn’t on this trip. It was clear yet so very disappointing.
The work will continue. The daily feeding program, the raising of funds, the Hope Centers still on the horizon. Yet, the disappointment around this particular trip is strong since it would have kick started the work in a way we haven’t been able to thus far.
In this same season, I’m feeling such a strong pull to rest. I have journal pages full of this call to be still. To find Him in the quiet moments, rather than the mountain moving ones. To find my footing again.
Maybe this door closing was, for me, in this season, a gentle leading back to quiet and stillness. A putting aside of the doing and striving and going and a picking up of the loving and slowing and embracing.
Healing has come slowly for our wounded little one. In turn, my own heart has been battered and bruised. My own soul desperate for healing and renewed strength.
Maybe this is the summer for our own healing. Her and I. Maybe I can’t go and pour myself out across the globe because I need to be poured into first. Certainly, when you’re empty, you can’t give of an overflow that doesn’t exist.
Through my disappointment and frustration, I will seek Him with fresh eyes. I read these words this morning in my First 5 study and felt goosebumps run up my neck, “Let’s consider the wilderness might be exactly where God needs us to be. What if our wilderness experience is where God will reveal Himself and prepare us for a bigger purpose?”
I’m praying for this particular wilderness experience to be exactly where God wants me and a time for Him to reveal Himself in a new way. I’m looking forward to what He will do this summer in my heart and in my family. I’m setting aside expectations and trusting Him for His best. Because, I know His plans are only for our good. Even when we can’t see the good in the moment and the tidy bow hasn’t yet been tied into place, He is still there, still working.
Trusting and believing in His plans not only for me and my family but also for the families we serve across the globe.