My husband left before dawn today on a work related trip out to the west coast of the beautiful US of A and my children and I are enjoying a very lazy day at home. My six year old is sitting Indian style trying to spin three coins simultaneously on the floor.
“Mom, did you know George Washington is on every 25 cents?”
“Wow, Boogie! You are so smart!”
“And Gabraham Lincoln is on every one cent!”
My eyes widened ever so slightly.
“Do you mean Abraham Lincoln?”
“No. Gabraham Lincoln.”
I turned my face to hide my smile. He must have caught my emotion.
“Yeah, maybe. I thinks it’s Abraham. Yeah, Abraham Lincoln.”
Bless that beautiful boy of mine. I tell you, I barely make it a day without melting at his freckles, missing tooth, and darling smile.
We recently returned to the US from living abroad in Malaysia and something as simple as watching my boys discover US currency is irresistible. I love watching life experienced and knowledge gained through the eyes of children.
We had been living in Southeast Asia since 2013 learning a new language, a new culture, and a new way of life for one purpose: to share truth with anyone, anytime, anywhere. We returned to the US in mid October of 2016 on furlough. We received a phone call during our first week back that sent us through a month long storm of emotion and prayer. Greg was asked to join the pastoral staff of a church in Tennessee. A total honor to be considered for such a position, and at the very same time, a total blindside that knocked us flat on our backs.
I think my husband would agree with me that this very decision was the toughest one we’ve ever had to make. Leaving a people we loved and were passionate about tore us to the heart. And for the many weeks following our decision we felt excitement, but more so, a sadness of giving up something that became the heart of who we were.
I wrestled with a feeling of failure. I let my friends down. I let my coworkers down. I didn’t last but one term and that appears nonsensical to many who serve at the other ends of the world. I am a superstar to those living here in America and a rogue disappointment to those still living abroad. I feed on your thoughts and opinions, and I wish I did not! My pride basks in your ooh’s & ah’s over my having braved this overseas calling. My insecurity intensifies when you unknowingly secrete dejection over the length of time served. Please forgive me!
Now I am caught in this new world of having to discover what my lifestyle will look like having come fresh from the distant lands. Must it mirror what it was? Or should it take on a different form unique to its western culture? No longer am I encountering people everyday who have never once heard.
But I am still encountering people everyday who don’t know. So maybe the method changes. But the urgency does not. For at any time and anywhere, anyone can know saving grace. That, I hope, remains my life goal, my one aim. To be singleminded in knowing my Lord and making him known. Opening my mouth despite fear and leaning heavily into the Spirit.
To my friends abroad: I love you for what you do! You are my heroes and I am so honored to know you and call you friends.
To my friends local: I love you for who you are and the passion that stirs in your hearts. May you aim to make Him known with everything in you.