Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Halfway through our furlough: so what are we thinking?

A flashback to July 2013...
Where we were one year ago

Life on the Nile in Africa

One year ago, this was my life. My boys spent their days running around with their little Sudanese friends, swimming in the Nile River, and helping their dad out with any project he needed "help" with. My husband was doing what he loved and was passionate about. I enjoyed drinking hot tea and coffee with my friends in the shade of a tree in the heat of the day. Was it an easy, carefree life? No, but it was our calling.

Five months after these photos were taken, the lives of everyone we know and love in South Sudan were changed forever. Fighting broke out in Juba, the capital city of South Sudan, spreading quickly to many areas of the country, including Upper Nile State where we called "home".

After waiting two months to see if the unrest would die down, our family decided to come back to the States for an early home assignment. Our plan was to reconnect with our supporters and get as many people as possible praying for the situation in South Sudan. Our hope has been that peace and stability would return to the country and our region of South Sudan so that, come January 2015, we might return to our "calling" and continue doing what we love and feel God designed us for.

We have now been in the States for five months and it has been a wonderful time. We've traveled all over the country, reunited with our family and friends, and enjoyed some very special and refreshing times as a family. We are starting to hear the question, "Now what?" and I have asked myself the same thing.

Thanks to a book given to me by a special friend, I have been reminded of the value and joy of  "blooming where I've been planted."

"The Nesting Place" has reminded me to take advantage of these next months that we'll be settled in our home in South Carolina. It doesn't matter how long or short we'll be here, we can BE HOME. It would be so easy to allow these months to be consumed with thoughts of what is next, with questions about our future, with research, with shopping and packing, etc. But that doesn't feel like blooming and that definitely doesn't feel like nesting. God has given me another 6 months to be here so I want TO BE.

People might be wondering:
Do I want to just settle back into life in America for good?
Do I want to make our home in Columbia, SC my forever nesting place?

Honestly, no.
I believe this is where God wants us at least through the rest of the year. I don't know what the Lord has for our family in 2015 but I will be ready to move if that is what is next. And by God's grace we will BLOOM wherever He takes us.


Denise Holman said...

I love your thoughts of being blooming and BEING right where you are at the moment. I try to live by these words too in our always transient world. I know your heart in in Sudan, but there's always room on our team for you guys. :)

The Davis Family said...

Wow! Last time we saw you guys it was Christmas many years ago in Kabale and now we're both in Columbia, SC?! We would LOVE to connect. We live off St. Andrews rd and 26.

Chris Daly said...

God has indeed blessed your family and blooming where God has placed you is part of that blessing. I am glad that we were able to meet in Laguna Beach with our mutual friend from Khartoum. I am praying for your family and for peace in South Sudan and look forward to how God will be working in your lives in the next 6 months. Thanks for the updates!

Onna said...

We're so happy you can spend a little time with us too! love yall and I can't wait for our little dates to come!

Anonymous said...

Bethany: Thanks for sharing your thoughts your heart. I think of you all often. Love Debbie