Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Year Gone By....

A year and 20 days ago..... 

We left. 

No words or amount of sympathy could make it better. 

The pain of leaving my people, my community, my children (because surely by now you know there's more than 7) was beyond me. 

I honestly didn't think I would have the strength to do it... or at least people on the plane would surely be convinced of my insanity. 

But He strengthened my every step. 

I believe I talked quite a bit about the pain of leaving the place where my heart beats freest... 

And if you haven't read this post, do that now.  

That stupid toenail.  
(I'd insert the photo I sent to Zambia to show them so we could laugh together but I'm thinking TMI)

What an unbelievably tangible way my Father has given to continue teaching me. 

 I know ya'll are gonna think I'm crazy (maybe its too late?) But... 

10 days after our 1 year of returning "home" .... 

my silly toenail fell off again!!

We were all a little shocked... and amused. 
(because of course the boys haven't let their dad live down the fact that he ripped it off in the first place)

But you know what I noticed?

This time... it didn't hurt as much.  

It had clearly worked hard this past year trying to look "normal."

 I even disguised it with nail polish thinking maybe this Summer it wouldn't be quite so noticeably...




But, despite our great effort

I just couldn't keep the nail on.  

It is never going to look like it did before.  

To many eyes, it is pretty ugly. And that's ok.  

I'm never going to have that perfectly pedicured foot any longer.... 


 I'm kinda embracing my imperfect toe. 

It is my alter stone. 

 The remembrance. 

Of what? 

Once, there was something really beautiful... but my identity wasn't attached to it as I once thought. 

When that something beautiful was ripped off of me... the pain was more than I could bare. 

But He spoke in it.  

Yes it  looked ugly, different, and imperfect.... 

But I can't be who I was before this beautiful thing.  

I can't hide it under fake.... 
empty and meaningless words... 
  "culture" norms
(Cause we all know Jesus was really good at that... ahem)

Because while the pain is nothing as it used to be,

 the reality that it's really never going to be like it was is ok.  

There's beauty in the hard... 
in the pain...  
in the imperfect.

No... I'd choose to look as if nothing had ever happened. 

 Its easier that way. 

Its more comfortable. 
(for others more than me)

Less risky. 
(because only calculated risk seems responsible  acceptable in the church)

But that's not my reality.  

My eyes can't unsee... 

My heart can't unfeel... 

My mind can't undo... 

He's shown me way too much of Himself for me to wallow in what used to be. 

So, the second year begins. 

There's really no promise that the result is going to be this beautifully, perfectly manicured life 
(or toenail)... 

But I will see God's moving. 

I will not ignore His voice. 

I will pray that His love that so generously flowed out in a land strange to so many around me, will continue to overflow to those He has placed me before now. 

He is the same... I am not. 

I don't have to be, because He is. 

So this year, I'm embracing the imperfect.  

The things that didn't quite turn out the way I'd hoped for. 

Trusting completely in the one who takes all our crazy brokenness 

and lets His light shine brightly through the cracks. 

 And in that... 
I sense the healing... 
the purpose... 

and choose to not fight against the pain anymore...
but to feel privileged to have experienced it. 

It's actually really beautiful. 

"I saw what I saw and I can't forget it.
I heard what I heard and I can't go back
I know what I know and I can't deny it

Something on the road, cut me to the soul

Your pain has changed me
your dreams inspire
your face a memory
your hope a fire
your courage asks me what I'm afraid of
and what I know of love."

                                                                  --- Sara Groves



  1. Thank you for sharing your heart. Love seeing the photos and learning about your family. Blessings to you all! :-)

  2. My favorite song! Love and prayers!