When we were in Spain last month I went to a breakout session entitled “finding joy in the hard places.” You can easily imagine that there were a lot of missionaries in that room! We thought it would be a session about seeing death every day or driving past hungry children every night, but it wasn’t. It was about remembering. She so perfectly stated that we must remember what God has done in the past in order to find our joy TODAY. So, in that light, I want to remember. This year has been hard. So, so hard. I have cried more days in a row here than I can ever remember doing before. The struggle with our kids. The stress with school. The arrival of a new baby in a foreign country. The separating from family. Darrell and I running our family together instead of him being at work all day….it has all been hard. But I want to remember. There have been such beautiful God moments here and I must remember what He has done so faithfully throughout our time in France.
When we first arrived, a family with 4 kids welcomed us right off of our bus with dinner and new playmates for our kids.
The kids had a beautiful first day of school with only their mother crying!
Trinity was delivered via c-section complication free. One night in the hospital I was crying and right then two dear friends walked in the room. They brought laughter and joy and God knew exactly what I needed in that moment. I also had several moments of begging God for someone to speak English and just at the right moment that person would walk in.
Somehow, by God’s absolute grace I took my first set of exams and passed, with a 4 week old baby.
There were many days that our kids would cry and beg us not to take them back to school. We frequently prayed with them at lunch that God would give them something really exciting and wonderful in the afternoon. More often than not our kids would come home telling us “we got to do a dance class today” (the girls) or “we started wrestling lessons today!” God was so good to hear our prayers.
Hudson was experiencing bullying at one point and we didn’t know if we needed to pull him out of school or not. It didn’t occur to us until a few weeks into it that we should pray for the bullying to stop…and it did, that exact day.
Jack had some really traumatic experiences here, but with each one God has brought a measure of healing through a counselor and through prayer. And by God’s grace Jack has continued to go to school day after day. I could not be more proud of him.
When we found out we couldn’t move to Burundi until our house was done (originally there was a back up house for us) we were worried that the school had another family lined up to move into this house in Aug. But sure enough, God had gone before us and the school has no large families in the Fall so the house is open until Dec.
When I thought I was going to lose my mind in dishes, homework, laundry, diapers, and sleepless nights God would send Hanneke over who would clean up the whole house and help me.
And the list just keeps going. Oh God, you have been faithful. I will stand up and proclaim your faithfulness even in the hard places, even in the storm.