As it turns out, even the wordiest of people can fall mute every now and then. I’ve attempted to sit down to type this out for weeks- months, even. And yet, I cannot for the life of me figure out where to even start.
But let’s try, shall we?
Let’s just cut to the chase. So, we’re moving. To Africa. SURPRISE.
No really. We’re moving to Africa. Lilongwe, Malawi to be specific.**
It’s funny, actually. There have been few- very few- people in our lives who have been legit surprised by this news. The vast majority, however, have been all, “Dude, that’s… crazy. Like, MOVING moving? Yeah, you’re totally crazy, but I am not one bit surprised. WAIT. Oh my gosh, the kids. How do THE KIDS feel about this?”
Almost verbatim. Those exact three points, nearly every time: 1. We’re crazy, 2. They’re not surprised, 3. But what about the kids?
So, if that’s you, let’s just set some groundwork here. Just to put your pretty little minds at ease.
1. You might be right. Maybe we are crazy. Maybe we have indeed lost our minds. Matt and I look at each other on a near-daily basis and ask ourselves these very questions. But…
2. You have no idea how affirming your “I’m not surprised” responses are. Especially when we start circling around point #1. Or when we get stuck on point #3.
3. The kids. The kids have varying levels of excitement and acceptance on a day-to-day, hour-by-hour basis. Similar to they way they feel about, oh, each other. You know how siblings can be snuggled up sweetly next to one another one minute and ready to pounce slash draw blood the next? NOT THAT THAT EVER HAPPENS TO REAL LIVE MISSIONARIES-TO-BE. But I’ve heard rumors of such things (ahem), and it’s been EXACTLY like this. Highs and lows. Excitement and anticipation one minute, sadness and fear the next. There’s a lot they’re going to give up, and plenty that they’ll gain in moving to a new country and entirely new culture. But I’m getting ahead of myself. More on this later.
That said, I think the tippy top most important piece of groundwork to lay and point to drive home is that, sweet goodness, God has been at work here, leading up to this point. We’re talking years of preparation. Decades even.
Because in his good and sovereign plan, God would use a trip to Zimbabwe to completely reorient and rearrange the worldview of an impressionable eleven year old boy. And that boy would one day meet a girl was similarly raised to love and care for the world around her. A girl raised with missionary biographies in-hand. A girl whose heart was wrecked and eyes were opened wide on numerous short-term trips around the world. That boy and that girl would one day fall in love and get married. They’d make big plans and dream big dreams. They were gonna do this thing, man.
Years would pass. And, sure, they’d keep praying for the nations. But kids would come. Roots would be planted. They’d get their perfect house. Their perfect jobs. Their perfect lives. The American Dream up close and personal. It would be right in their grasp. And it would be awesome. Comfortable. Full of promise and opportunity.
But those two crazy kids- now all grown up and perhaps a bit less starry eyed- well, they would have to reach that point of having everything they ever wanted before they realized that it wasn’t everything they were created for after all.
They’d have to grow into the understanding that this call to missions actually has zero to do with them and everything to do with the God who called them.
And as they reached this point- as their view of God finally overshadowed their fears, hesitations, questions, and the seductive American Dream that had been placed so neatly in their very laps- they would look at each other one day knowingly.
** As things in life go, nothing is for sure until it’s for sure. A board of trustees will be voting on us in a few months which will hopefully make this forsureforsure. Get it got it good? Good.
To TOTALLY be continued…