I have been feeling a bit lately like our life is a series of countdowns and benchmarks. Today, I am 30 weeks pregnant which means: 4 weeks until I go back to the States, 7 weeks until Dan comes back to the States, 10 weeks until our family transitions from 2 to 3, and give or take 4 months until we return to Malawi for our second year.
That’s right, we have some news! We have decided to return to Malawi in August for a second year of ministry with ABC Academy. The journey to get to this final decision was long and tough. We have made some big decisions in our short married life, but this was by far the hardest decision we have made. We struggled with feeling like we were seeking and asking and waiting and praying, but we were hearing nothing. Like literally nothing. We were divided on the issue, and we had no peace in either direction.
Our prayer is always that God would lead us in a spirit of unity and peace, but in this case we were staunchly in our individual camps, and neither of us had any intention of moving for quite some time. Not for lack of trying though. We were both seeking, asking God to soften our hearts and show us His path, we just didn’t feel like we were hearing anything other than our own desires. It was a frustrating time, to say the least. But the beautiful thing is that through it, we had some really good conversations. Conversations about our deepest hopes, and dreams…some things that we never even realized we felt. It took us some time, but through these conversations we were able to come to a better understanding of ourselves, and of each other–and our marriage is stronger for it. Which is exactly how the Lord works, right? He draws us out in his own timing, to stretch us and grow us.
After several months of these deep, emotional conversations though; we still didn’t feel like we were feeling any peace or clarity from the Lord. We were challenged to fully trust Him in His timing, and were reminded that God is never going to be late, and He isn’t going to leave us hanging. And of course, He didn’t. Just when we needed it, we heard. Words of assurance and peace came. Suddenly our hearts were unified, and we had a common understanding and assurance that if we were to leave Malawi after this year, that we would feel unfinished. We knew that God had something more for us here, and we could choose to move back Stateside, but I think we knew that we would always have a feeling that we had left an unfinished work.
So we are coming back in August. And we are excited and anticipating great things and we are hopeful to see more of what God has for us here. But also, we are overwhelmed and nervous and worried and sometimes sad. And I am learning that ALL of these things are okay. We will feel all these things. Sometimes we will be completely assured that this is the right move, and we will walk in the confidence of the leading of the Spirit. And other times it will be really hard, and we will doubt and wonder…BUT in those moments, we need to be reminded that we sought, and we prayed, and we HEARD.
So as we continue down this path we will keep you updated. Obviously, we will be coming back with a newborn, so our situation and our needs will be changing a bit…but for now, we want to ask you to stand with us in prayer and support.
Will you be the encouragement that we need in those hard moments to remind us that we can trust the voice and leading of our good, and loving Father?
We need people like you surrounding us, and lifting us up. We would like to ask you to please commit to praying with us as we walk into this new season. There is a lot of transition ahead for our little family, and we need the support of our much bigger spiritual family to walk through it in grace and peace and trust.
We love you all. And we are so blessed by the ways that you encourage and support us.