|Mark out on a canoe during our time away.|
The last year has been a difficult season for us. Deception of former employees, legal issues, complaints at the labor office, the violent break-in to GSF at our house and our neighbor's house and major surgery all were a part of the last 12 months. This week marked 6 months since the break-in and 6 weeks of recovery from my surgery.
The former employees and the attackers at GSF took many things ranging from trust and sense of security to wedding rings. However, I want to reflect on the many things that they could not take and how, even because of their acts, those other things have been strengthen and realized all the more.
✨Faith - Our faith in the God who sees and goes before us has been challenged and strengthened. We have at times wondered where He was, just as the Psalmist many times asked. He has been so faithful to show us, and our faith has increased.
✨Trust - I am definitely an anxious soul who has difficulty trusting. God has so often asked me this year, "do you trust me?" Ironically in the midst of difficult and scary situations, I've learned to trust Him more. Although our trust in some people was taken, our trust in a sovereign God has strengthened.
✨Community - In the different situations mentioned above we have had people come alongside us. We have felt love and concern from those we know and those we didn't know. We had employees, missionaries and friends who stood with us and walked with us during each situation as we were in this together. There are many of you, when you heard of the break-in or the surgery, who wrote, prayed, gave and shared with others our need. People we had never met before encouraged us in a multitude of ways. Because of the surgery, we now have a community of friends in South Africa who were so kind and loving to us during that time. Although our sense of security may never be the same, our sense of community has deepened.
✨ Empathy for ourselves and others - I feel we have "walked a mile" in others' shoes and have a greater empathy and compassion for those hurting or going through traumatic circumstances. We have also learned to give ourselves more grace and empathy understanding we are needing to heal and rest.
✨ A stronger marriage - Our wedding rings may have been taken away, but our love for one another has grown. We've always had a strong marriage and the adversity has multiplied it.
Thank you to the many who are praying with us.