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Isn't it wonderful how God has created us with so many ways to be touched emotionally through all our senses?  I see my kids smile and feel like the world is right; I smell freshly cut grass and lilacs and it means new beginnings and hope; I feel the weightlessness of my body floating in the cool lake, and it resets my mind back to being settled; I taste the warm, exotic spices that flavor indian foods and I think there cannot be a better culture as far as food goes; and I hear the voice of a friend that I haven't seen in far too long over the phone, and it transports me back to a time and place we were together.

I had that last experience tonight.

Talking with Althea on the phone made me so very happy!  Althea was the woman who stepped in when we were in Malawi and floundering around not knowing what we were supposed to be doing!  She was the one the pastors took us to when we said, "Please take us to a white person."  She drove me to the ER and took care of all the cultural things I didn't (and couldn't at the time) understand when Andrew had to have emergency surgery.  She drove us all over getting groceries, furniture, plants, medicines, and money.  And most importantly, she introduced us to the missionary community in Blantyre that made us be able to start breathing again and believe that maybe we actually could do this missionary thing.  She was a God-send, and remains a woman whom I love and trust to this day.  And hearing her voice on the other end of the phone, that wonderful South African lilt and the encouraging, exhorting words that she always speaks - it was a gift to me today to remind me of my excitement to be back in Africa.

Because this has been a bad week for me.  No reason in particular.  In fact, by all outside things, it seems like it should have been a good one.  Our van was declared safe and usable after all; we had a new supporter; we heard from a church about speaking; and I have felt very clearly that God is about to do something big in this process.  Yet I refused to be hopeful and happy.  Instead I was fearful, anxious, and sad.  I was doubtful about my ability to live and thrive in South Sudan.  I was scared about the idea of having our family spread out over a few countries in a couple of years.  I was worried about team dynamics and what things will be like by the time we get there.  And I gave in to those things, those lies, as though they were truth - even after admitting they were not!  I had fears about death, money, and family things.  I had near panic attacks as I allowed my mind and thoughts to take me to dark places.  I gave into sadness that was deep and threatened to drown me.  And even though I recognized it as attack, I didn't feel like I had enough energy or hope to fight it off.

But today God broke through.  And He did it in those little ways that I was not even looking for.  I went to church and heard the worship leader tell us to expect and anticipate, so I did.  But the real healing (the sermon was on healing, oddly enough) came from the simple fellowship of being with people I love who love me back.  It was not a particular song or word or sermon, but rather a culmination of people, love and laughter that made me start to surface.  It was like my senses all started to wake up again and notice all the ways He is around and has blessed me.  And talking with Althea tonight was just icing on the cake!  I am so thankful for my God who continues to love and pursue me in all ways!  


  1. I am right there with you--hearing all the lies and feeling just wiped out with a sadness that is so intense. Praying for you as we continue to prepare to join our teams.


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