I mentioned on Monday that I was feeling a lot of things. I always have some emotionally difficult days following a visit to the orphanage. But coupled with a sick little girl, who’s abdomen was swollen, tragedy in the U.S., tragedy all around and generally because I’m a woman who feels deeply, all of the things, this week was rough.
But in addition to all of that, is one major thing for our family that has brought my emotional stability to a screeching halt. I’m just being real here. Its so easy to put on a smile and post a happy photo, and y’all might think I have it all together, so this post is just real. I’m not a big fan of pretense, subtext, hidden truths, however you might want to say it. I’m currently trying to practice not always wearing my heart on my sleeve and reacting a little slower to things people say.
All of that to say, we have big news. For several months we (Alex and I) have been gently nudged by the Holy Spirit… again. This hasn’t happened since we made the huge decision to move to El Salvador. 2 1/2 years ago we jumped off that cliff into the water with smiles and anticipation.
But this time, the nudging is to move back to our passport country. Back to Ohio. Away from La Libertad. What on Earth? That’s how I’ve been feeling, a constant state of “what on earth!” In case you are curious, nudges come in the way of cars breaking down, losing renters, projects going REALLY well, people becoming employed, church growth, leaders stepping up. Nudges can be whispers into the soul of bigger things on the horizon, new things. Scary things. Uncertain possibilities. Then all of those nudges build and build and build until one day, God just says “This is it. Go.”
Then I fight back and our conversation goes a little like this:
Me: But God, what about all the babies? All the kids I love like my own? What about Esperanza?
God: You mean my kids and my babies and my plans?
Me: But you made me love them. I want to save them all.
God: I already sent Jesus to do that.
Me: But…..my friends who have adopted me into their own family. I’m their white daughter. How can I leave them. What about all of the children here I can’t adopt but would in a nanosecond?
God: I have something else for you now. You did what I asked. Now its time.
God: Hey Jonah, just obey. I had an plan for you three years ago, don’t you think I have one now? I’ve got this. I keep the planets in the sky after all. You could not imagine what I have for you next.
Me: Touche. Ok Lord. But so many details, how are we going to go back? How will ……?
God: Tranquila hija (be still and calm daughter).
So back we go. Torn as heck. Parts of us are so excited to go back to the house we raised our babies in for 10 years, to do life with our family, to laugh with our friends. Part of us yearning and grieving to hold onto our people in El Salvador. Everything about our family has changed in the last 2 1/2 years. I said once missionary years are like dog years. For us, this feels like leaving a home of 10 years.
So please be patient with us. We may not think the same way or act the same way anymore. We may not feel things the same way anymore. Our feelings are complicated beyond belief. We are going to struggle for a bit, and may burst into tears at weird times.. like at grocery stores.
We are leaving because God is telling us to.
We are leaving because La Libertad is awesome and they don’t need us day to day anymore.
We are leaving because its what is best for our children.
Esperanza will continue to grow, and be strong, and change lives. We have a team in place to continue on, grow and be better and better.
The church will do what they have always done; learn, grow, fight for the souls of their city. Serve God will all their hearts.
The nutrition centers will add more and more children into their safe arms, and hopefully next year Alex and I will help them plant a third center in another area of the city.
And I will continue to keep this song from Bethel on loop, because “the wind and waves still know His name.”