Woah, it's been way too long since I've written. Honestly, it's been on my mind almost daily. I have known there has been a large gap on the blog from what was to what is now... but I have had no idea how to put words to the in between. Every time I have considered actually sitting down and filling that gap, I've felt a knot in my stomach. Where to being? How do I put words to something that is still so much in process? Here's my first attempt to do that. Hopefully more words will flow soon...
Will, Ellie and I have been in the States on our home assignment for 5 months now. Next week is the week we were set to return to Uganda. It is when we planned on packing up everything again, saying the difficult goodbyes and diving back into the life we have set up in Fort Portal.
However, while we have been back in the States, God has made it clear to us (through prayer and the wisdom of others who have walked this road before) that we need to return full time to America. We are officially moving back to the States again. And officially leaving life in Africa... again.
Ellie has been sleeping in a Pack N' Play her whole life. Literally since the day she came home from the hospital in Kenya, she has slept in a portable bed. We bought her a crib in Fort Portal, but never got around to setting it up before we came back to the States for our break. This week, for the first time in Ellie's 14 months of life, we are planning on setting up a crib for her. The fact that we will probably end up setting up Ellie's first "permanent bed" the same week that we were supposed to be returning to Uganda has been hitting me hard. It has brought on a paradox of emotions that we are overwhelmed with sadness to be leaving Africa, but also relieved to finally feel like we can "settle" somewhere.
The past three years has been a whirlwind. Three years ago we were about to leave for South Sudan. Five months later, we evacuated and went to Kenya. From there we were in Arua, Uganda, the US for a couple months, Arua again, Kenya to give birth to Ellie and then Fort Portal, Uganda. With each move, we were expecting to find home. We were hoping to find a long-term ministry site. A place where we could fully invest in those around us and build community- a community that we hoped to live with for years. We were looking for a place where we could live out of our giftings- where we could use the passions God has given us to further his Kingdom.
For some reason, we didn't find that. Or, we did, but we weren't able to stay in the places in which we found that in. We can't explain it and we really don't understand why things happened the way they did. One thing we have learned through all of this is to stop trying to figure out why things happen the way they do. It's not for our small minds to try to grasp. What we do know is God is good. I don't mean that as a cliche. I'm done with cliches. I mean it from the depths of my bones. I say it because I've seen it. I've seen His goodness in the midst of much struggle. I've seen His grace when there has been nothing else to hang onto. So instead of asking "why", we're finding that it's much more helpful to ask, "what now, Lord?". "How will You use all of this and where do you want us to go from here?" Even still, we don't have answers. But we're continuing to seek and ask.
I realize this is just a long, jumbled mix of thoughts. But honestly, this is where we are right now. We are still very much "in process". We know where we've been, but we're still trying to figure out where God is taking us next and how He's using what we've been through.
Hopefully more words will flow soon. In the meantime, please pray for us. We are settling back into "American life" in Bloomington, IN. We still have many unanswered questions, but we're eagerly seeking His direction and guidance as to where to go from here. Thanks for sticking with us throughout our journey and for continuing to pray.