This time of year is almost always one where I am waiting with expectancy. I know this because Facebook has done such a good job documenting my life and reminding of the memories.
I’ve been expecting children. Three of my most precious treasures were taking up space in my belly-region, causing heartburn, nesting syndrome and minor anxiety at getting everything DONE so I would be READY.
I’ve been expecting travel and moving. We have either been weeks away from heading back to Texas for our time Stateside, or we have been in Texas, wrapping up fundraising and road-tripping so we could head back for another term in Kenya. Once again, I had to get things DONE so I would be READY.
Looking back, I was never ready for this next big thing that God had for us, but He was. I had no idea of the wonders and the challenges of that next baby, or that next season of life in a different country. I thought I knew, but God surprised me, beyond my wildest dreams.
Each child that was soon born to me had a unique personality. Some were mellow and full of sweetness and an agreeable spirit to wherever we were headed next. Some were (are) full of passion and extremes, ready to take on the world and challenge it at every turn. As they grow older, I see traits that are similar to mine or my husband’s, and I smile, because I’m pretty sure my mom prayed that one day, I would have a child that I would have to drag out of bed. And other times, I smile, because I’m pretty sure Josh’s mom prayed she would have a child that would wake up before dawn, ready to tackle the world. God knew when I didn’t.
Each season we spend in the US, and each term we spend in Kenya has had it’s own theme, just like my children’s personalities. Some have been adventurous, full of travels, and moving, and new friends and new experiences. Some have been really challenging, where security issues kept us praying on our knees and trusting that God would protect and provide. Some have been seasons of goodbyes and unexpected seasons of blessings of friendships that we never would have imagined. But God knew.
(Our kids were having fun pretending to be pirates but the reason for boat was potential evacuation during a time of potential Ebola and terrorism. Thankful we never needed the boat for that. #funtimes)
If there is one thing that God has taught me, through my seasons of waiting for the next big thing, is that He has plans for us that are GOOD. Things may not turn out the way we plan. We may have challenges in the next season that we didn’t anticipate, but those are times for growth and trusting. We may have unexpected blessings and adventures and I can’t wait to experience those.
As I write this, we are 6 weeks away from our Stateside assignment, and deep in the middle of preparing our Kenya home to be a volunteer guest house while we are gone. We are planning our next 6 months (which is super hard for non-planners such as ourselves). We are setting up trips to see family, supporters, churches, meet all kinds of new people and experience new places, like theme parks and yummy new restaurants.
I can easily get caught up with anxiety-inducing worries, such as “how will we raise enough support to come back?” “How can I help my kids adjust to a new life, new friends, and being in an uncomfortable spotlight as we share at churches?” “How can I quickly start new routines to maintain continuity in our life, and yet remain flexible at the same time with all the traveling we will be doing?”
OR, I can remember that God is GOOD with each new transition and each new season. He will work out those things, provide the financial support, give us wisdom to plan our trips, give us grace to go with the flow, give us words to share and give us friends to do life with.
I wait with expectancy yet again, not for another child, but for a season of God’s surprises and experiences. Thankful that heartburn won’t be an issue.