Monday, June 04, 2007

Sometimes the Answer is No

I really wanted to go.


Some months back, Jeff and I decided it would be wise for him to return to the States and help pack up the sea container we would be sharing with Andrew and Aimee Jo. I think I was even the first one to mention it.

My bright idea.

What I thought would be 7-10 days turned into 24. And I began to stew.

My youngest cousin was getting married during the time Jeff would be in the States and for months I had been asking God to make a way for us ALL to be at the wedding. I wondered, when the plans for Jeff's trip began gaining momentum, if God was planning a big surprise for me too!
I hoped and wished and prayed. Maybe cheap tickets! Someone with frequent flier miles to share. Tickets falling from the sky. Something.

The time came for Jeff's departure and no miracle for me was happening.

Jeff hugged us goodbye in Kampala and drove to the airport. I drove the kids back to Ft Portal. The answer was No. I was not going back to the States this time.

I've been walking this planet for a while now. And I know that things cannot always be just as you want them. Of course they can't.
So, why, sometimes, is that truth so hard to accept?

I have grieved these last few weeks. Not being with family breaks my heart into a million pieces.
Its amazing how I have to continually choose to allow that breaking. I made that decision in 1994 when we left for Kenya. Again in 1995 when we moved to Uganda. Again in 1998 when Kinley was born so far from family. Again in 1999...etc.

I know...KNOW that God is faithful. And will never forsake us. He will never abandon us, or those we love, as we walk the path He has called us to follow.

I also think it is okay to acknowledge the brokenness that takes place every time we miss something....or lose something. Paul had great faith to write, "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ.” Philipians 3:7-8

The question “Will you sacrifice THIS for me?” repeatedly arises as we walk in the Way.
“Will Knowing Me be your one pursuit? Above all else?”
It’s not a question you answer once and then you’re done. It is often, a daily or even hourly choice.

While I repeatedly fall short of the positive faith Paul expresses throughout that whole passage in Philippians , I can completely concur with verse 12:

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

We press on. Knowing Christ IS the pursuit I value most. Jeff and I have been taught to seek HIm for our entire lives. And now, we long for our brothers and sisters here to choose that also.
To Know Christ. Not just ABOUT Him. KNOW HIM. There is nothing better.
All the struggles, sacrifices, victories and gifts of this life we’ve chosen really boil down to that.

I missed the wedding. But I made a wedding cake for me and the kids on the wedding day. If I had been thinking I would have topped the cake with a Ninja Turtle action figure and maybe a Polly Pocket. When he was young, Tanner loved Ninja Turtles. And now he’s all grown up and he’s found his “Polly”. They are off and running in their life together.

I missed being at your wedding Tanner-Banner. I’m sorry I wasn’t there to say "I remember changing your diapers!"

I guess there is a positive side to everything. ☺


Andrew & Aimee said...

Thank you. Reading your words has been a blessing to me today.

Aimee and I miss you guys and wish you were here too.

Ike Graul said...

I sent the latest season of LOST home with your hubby. I know it doesn't help, but I hope you enjoy it. ;) Looking forward to fellowshipping with you all whenever God next says "yes."

kristi w said...

We enjoyed our visits with Jeff this last week, and we prayed for peace and safety for you five back home! We all really wanted to send back a bunch of goodies for you and the kids, but you'll have to blame your husband for not letting us (or the airlines, I guess). You know I would have sent you some extra-special chocolate!

Aimee Jo said...

I wish that the answer would have been "yes" as well. I told Jeff to "hug your neck," which I'm sure he would have done without being told. (But at least one of those hugs you receive is from me!)
Miss you. I'm glad that your hubby will be back home with you and the kids soon.

Kim Hodges said...

We enjoyed having Jeff here, and we prayed for you and the children! (The Pop Tarts were my idea.) ;)