You guys…loving people is hard. Waiting is hard. Goodbyes are hard. Uncertainty is hard. Living in the day – in the moment – it is all so hard.
Yet this is where God has us right now.
If you have not heard our news yet – we are finishing up our term here in Nairobi and planning to move back to the US at the end of April. There are several reasons for this (See our recent e-letter HERE to get answers to all your FAQs). We are currently living in a state of goodbye with no clear hello in front of us. I have been paying that God would show us a glimpse of what is next for us in the States, but so far he has chosen to have us sit and wait. We have our own ideas of what possibilities excite us and what seems like a great fit, but waiting on his timing and his plan is something that we have never done very patiently.
So here we are.
And grief – it’s a sneaky little thing. I have found myself full of gratefulness and hope one moment and a sobbing puddle of sadness the next – for no logical reason! Each time we tell someone here, the grief is new and fresh and it wears on one’s heart after a while. I feel very raw as the emotions crash over me.
Yet we have also felt loved. I know that if it were easy to leave, we would have to question the way we lived our lives here. Last year as I sat unassumingly with my dear friend on our patio and talked her through her time leaving here. I told her that I was praying it would be hard. She had been struggling and was ready to leave and have no ties left behind. But we both wanted her to take only what God wanted her to take from the experience. By the time she left, her heart ached at the thought of leaving people she dearly loved and who loved her back. She jokingly chastised me for that prayer. At the time I thought we would not leave Nairobi for several years, so I didn’t think too much about it personally.
Every time we have had to leave a place and people we have loved that quote from Winnie the Pooh comes back to me. “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
The goodbyes seem even harder when the other side of things is still a blank canvas. We don’t know where the hellos will come from or where our next “Something that makes saying goodby so hard” is. Honestly, we are both praying that the next goodbye is decades down the road. We long for home and roots and community and a true sense of belonging.
But for now we will live in the moment as much as possible. We will hang out often, dance like crazy, cry without shame, sing loudly, play wildly, eat together often, laugh hysterically. We will live life and continue to love and be loved. And we will trust in the hope of the one who gives more abundantly than we can ever ask or imagine.
It’s still hard. But hard isn’t always bad.