A year ago today – it was our first full day in the States as a family of 4. Despite the jet lag – there was an excitement of what the next few months would hold. Thanks to Timehop – we’ve been reminded of all the pics we took after traveling for 24+ hours with no showers. Yesterday (jokingly), it was said that a year ago everyone was like “They’re here! They’re here!” and now today…”They’re still here!”And it’s true. We are indeed still here. There are days when it still seems a bit surreal that we’re here for the birthday celebrations, Sunday lunches, and family road trips. And already, there’s days that Madagascar seems a bit surreal…like perhaps it was five years ago that we were there instead of just one.
Culture shock takes on a whole new meaning when you move to a town, purchase vehicles, start working a full time job, move in with your parents and are searching for a house. All of that has a way of making something feel permanent. Which is ironic since there was never a plan “b” for our lives other than living in Madagascar. Madagascar was our “permanent”. It’s kinda funny that I even allow “permanent” to be in my vocabulary anymore.
God has been gracious in putting Godly women in my path lately and while talking to one last night, she mentioned the seasons that God calls us to be somewhere. It made me start thinking about our lives for the past 4 years. I had never thought about different times in my life as “seasons” until someone had said it to me overseas. Over and over again, brothers & sisters in Christ would tell me that my time in whatever particular moment was “for a season”.
I really believed that I had it figured out. For a season. Yep, that makes sense. Just for a season, will it be this way. Just for a season, I’ll stay home with Ryleigh and not travel with Steve to the bush. Just for a season, we will live in “town” and not make our home in the bush. Just for a season, my children are too young to make the trip out to the villages. All the while knowing the next season would look more like the foreign missionary life that I had expected.
Fast forward to now, and God is showing me that I had it all wrong. It turns out that Madagascar in and of itself was “for a season”. My time in a town while my husband was in the bush was “for a season”. Spending time one on one with Ryleigh was “for a season”. Living in a slower environment in a language that proved difficult for me was “for a season”. Being somewhere I imagined I’d be for the rest of my life was “for a season”.
This new season is radically different than how I anticipated the next season to look. But it too is “just for a season”. I have no idea how long this season will last or if there will ever even be a next season. He doesn’t give me a bulleted syllabus of my life so I can know what to expect next. There may be a season in the future where I’m learning a different language. There may be a season in the future where I focus on writing a book. The season I’m in right now may last until He calls me home or comes again. I absolutely have no idea.
But – want to know what I do know?
That He is good. That He will be glorified. That He orchestrated this season just the way it is for a reason.
Who am I to guess at why things happen the way they do? I laugh at myself when I realize my train of thought is imagining things another way – even in small details…because He is God and I am not. There are no “good ideas” or “other possible alternatives” when He has set the course.
The season we are in right now is for His purposes…just as other seasons have been. There is no where else I’d rather be. I’m learning how to maneuver this working mom thing (mostly unsuccessfully) and it’s hard – no doubts about it…but it’s what He’s called me to. I’m learning how to be a pastor’s wife (where did that come from?!?) and 99 times out of 100 I’m messing up…but it’s what He’s called me to. I’m learning how to teach kindergarten (a slight difference from 4th grade) and most days are a combination of exasperation/bursting out in tears/tying shoes/& unconditional love…but it’s what He’s called me to.
So in the words of my sweet new friend Kim…”This is where we are. This is what He’s called us to. We are here for a purpose and it is our mission field. Let’s dig our heels in, put in the work, and if we ever do look back at this season from a new one – let’s be able to say we held nothing back and we have no regrets.” Don’t you want to just hug her?!?
This season and any others – All for His glory.