Wednesday, February 1, 2017

I've Been Lost (Returning to Gratitude)

In Uganda, if you haven't seen someone for a long time you tell them, "You've been lost!". This is a way of saying, I've missed you and I've noticed you haven't come here for a long time. If you have been traveling or haven't been somewhere in a while, you can say, "Sorry, I've been lost!" as a way of acknowledging your absence.

So, blog-followers (aka: Mom ;)), I've been lost! It's been a busy season with welcoming Jenna to Fort Portal and having her live with us, and we have been dealing with some major sleep issues in our house, so all of that lends itself to not easily finding time to blog. However, if I'm totally honest with you, I also just haven't known what to say.

It's been a hard season. We were hoping to finally find a place to find our footing and thrive when we settled on moving to Fort Portal, but that hasn't been the case yet. In general, we're just very weary. However, having new team members here and getting to live life with them and with Pat has been a huge bright spot in this season. We are so grateful for team. We are excited about the team God has placed here in Fort Portal and looking forward to seeing what he does through each person on the team.

A verse that God gave me after our season of evacuation and a miscarriage last year was,
"Be at rest once more, oh my soul, for the Lord has been good to you." Psalm 116:7
In this season where we were hoping to feel settled and able to put down roots, I'm reminding my soul to be at rest even in the disappointment. I'm remembering all the times God has been good to us before, and recounting daily the ways He IS good even now in this season.

Taking the phrase, "I've been lost" to heart, it reminds me to think of all the ways I get distracted by difficulty and allow it to lead me astray. I believe the way we return back from being "lost" is through gratitude. When we get stuck in the daily difficulties we are facing, it causes us to look at ourselves and feel depressed and disappointed. However, in the midst of disappointment and struggle, when we can recount the ways we are thankful, it returns our gaze to the Creator. When we acknowledge the giver of the good things in each day, it reminds us that He cares for us in the little things and therefore is also present in the big things of life, even in our circumstances don't convince us of that at the moment.

Ellie with "Aunty Beth"
One current example of this in our lives has taken place this week. On Saturday, a good friend of ours, our neighbor and Jenna's landlord, passed away from breast cancer. Beth was one of the first people I've connected to her in Fort Portal and we had discussed getting together regularly to fellowship together and pray together. I was really looking forward to getting to know her more and having a prayer partner across the street. My heart was so heavy when we heard she passed away, and it is still heavy now. Beth was an incredible woman and loved by many people. She loved Jesus and was a person of peace and truth to others. I wanted to sit in my sorrow over her death. I wanted to allow it to be another reason why this has been a hard season. I wanted to use it as an excuse to be sad and discontent. However, although I am extremely sad about her death, it has also been an opportunity for me to praise the Lord for the depth of relationships we have already been able to form here. I'm grateful that I truly felt like I knew Beth. We've only been here a few months and I already had a friend that felt like a family member. When I went to pay respect to her family, I recognized many people there and knew a lot of them by name. I'm grateful for this community. My gratitude in no way covers up my sadness of Beth's death. I am still mourning her loss and wishing I had more time with her. However, my gratitude points me back to the Creator. It reminds me of His gifts in the midst of the challenges.

So, friends, I hope I will not get lost again. Meaning, I do hope to blog more regularly ;), but also that I will always have a heart of gratitude, despite my circumstances. My prayer for myself, and all of us who call ourselves followers of Christ, is that gratitude will be our default- so that even when life gets hard, our hearts remain steadfast on the Creator.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this post... perfect for my own timing! Thanks for sharing... I've been lost too! Missing you all. Side note, you know how you say I remind you of Madam Secretary (which of course it is so obvious all the reasons why), we rewatched "One Night with the King" last night and the main lady, Esther, she is Theresa - dead on her!! Anyway, just know we are thinking and praying for your family!