Ah man, this feels good. To sit here and write this.. YES! I felt like this would never happen.
If you have been reading you will know that our family lived in Ethiopia for 6 years, during that time we worked together with Thomas and all of the wonderful staff at Bring Love In to create the orphan care ministry there. Then this year we made the big transition back to America. Only instead of going to California where we are from we moved to Texas…. I know, crazy decision. We are not sure if we will ever be comfortable calling ourselves Texans, but that is another story for another day. During the past months we have been talking on the blog here about the transition, how moving back to America was much harder on our family than moving to Ethiopia was, and how we felt like we had become immigrants in our own country. Every day is not hard, and it seems to be getting better bit by bit, but I definitely have more of a heart for returning missionaries now. If you know one, give them a hug. They need it.
The thing that the missionary family who stands up at your church on Sunday does not tell you is that this gig is hard stuff. They talk about the kids they are helping, but they say nothing about the 3 year old homeless child at the store they had to step over again and again with bags full of groceries they were bringing home to their family, and how doing that time after time created a hardness inside them that they had to constantly fight against. The truth is living abroad, serving in missions is a hard thing, it is a complicated mix of emotions that create the perfect storm for becoming hardened and instead of feeling more as you would think, you end up feeling less. I am trying to not make this a super long post here, because I am sure I would bore you to death with all of this stuff, but what I am trying to say is that we are healing, and learning to trust God all over again, and it is not easy. I have mentioned before that we were out church hunting, because we knew that part of the healing would come through getting rooted in a community. The truth is this season has felt a bit like we wandered off into a desert, and it just feels lonely out here.
The reason I am so happy to write this is because we did find a church! A super real, awesome church. And we love it! We were not even sure there for a bit if this place that we were looking for even existed, if there was a community out there who could accept us just as we are, beaten, battered, and all..
Last night we went to a marriage home group evening that our new church was putting on, and while sitting in a room full of honest, real, authentic people who were opening up and sharing their struggles and caring for one another I could not help but thank God for bringing us to this place, for setting us in the middle of people who care, and who want us to be part of their community.
It is not easy, and the road is far from over, but I am so thankful that we are committing here, rooting in and making this home.
Thanks for all your prayers, you are all the best, and we wish you all lived here so you could join us in this super cool church community that we found here, it’s pretty rad.
Because I am so proud of our kids, and my amazing wife, I just have to share this picture with you. These are my people, and I love them dearly. This journey might not be easy but when you are lucky like me and get to be surrounded by people like this you can take on anything.