Do you ever look at your life and think, “What in the world was I thinking?!” I have had this thought when I was juggling nursing a baby while yelling at boys to stop fighting, in the middle of a coffee shop remodel that went on for days, and certainly when stranded in a foreign country with a broken down, gas-guzzling hunk of junk car. The “How did I get here?” question has run through my head countless times over the past year. The answer doesn’t always come easily or with the same fervor, but it always comes. God. We answered His call.
Missionary life is many wonderful things but is also many difficult things. It is overwhelming at times, everyone is in your business, people expect you to pour out all of the goodness of the Lord, and give them everything you have. Reflecting on this, we have seen a beautiful sunny side in what God has done in our family. We circled the wagons. What could have unraveled us, instead has woven us more tightly together. Our family of 6 has spent an unprecedented amount of time together and we’ve come through it stronger (with minor battle scars).
When we arrived we tightened the net around ourselves, but during our 13 months in Congo we have grown into this call to be in community with others. We have as the locals say, “poly poly” (slowly slowly) let down our guard. I find sweet irony in our few remaining weeks here that we have welcomed more people into our home than I can keep track of. With the impending move to Zambia we have needed to sell some of our personal items, requiring many visitors stopping by. I’ve had coffee and conversations with many and am saddened that as I meet new friends, I’m also saying goodbye.
The boys have had a revolving door of friends at our house. On one day of insanity we had 11 children running around. Nick locked the front door so that they could only go in and out through the back where he stationed himself, closing the door behind them over and over again. The house has been full of friends and visitors just as we are preparing to leave. Did we wait too long to open our door? Part of me thinks yes, but I would still lean towards no.
We are so thankful to be on this journey and grateful to God, our friends, family, and church to have made this possible. However, as I said before, one of the most beautiful parts of this journey thus far has been the closeness of our Sh’awesome 6. I first answer to God for the spiritual health of my family and I cannot stop praising God for the goodness of that. The boys are doing better than I could have asked for, though I do ask for it every day. God has been so faithful.
As we say goodbye to the new friends we’ve made in Congo, we go forward a little less guarded, with more love in our hearts, more trust in our God, and more joy in the mission. I’m sure the question of “What in the world was I thinking?” will still come up as we settle into our new home in the third country in a 15 month span. The tapestry that God is weaving us into is complicated, unpredictable and full of uncertainty. Lucky for us, the weaver sees the finished product.
I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God’s great mystery.
Renee’s advance #3022491
Nick’s advance #3022490