As many of you know, the burden to GO (literally move our family) to Africa has been heavy on our hearts for over a year now. Both Joshua and I expected that our trips (in July for Joshua and February for me) to Uganda were just another piece to the puzzle of God equipping and preparing us for what is to come, whatever that may be. I think Joshua was anxiously waiting for me to get back from my trip to see if my experience there was similar to his. He came home pretty stinkin' sure that he could see our family in Africa. He most definitely didn't have all the answers to how and when we would get there- but no doubt Africa captured his heart and the desire to GO was only strengthened. I've always said to Joshua that he leads our family and if he came home tomorrow and told me, "Hil... we're moving to Africa this week, I know it's where the Lord wants us!".... that I'd go, I wholeheartedly trust him! He seeks the Lord's guidance for our family and I couldn't have more confidence in his willingness to say YES to whatever God asks of him! And here's the deal... if my man is seeking God's story for our family, than I'm 100% behind him! For this, I'm beyond grateful, what a blessing it is to have a husband that is the spiritual leader of our family! Now that being said, while I'm pretty sure the hubs appreciates my vote of confidence in his ability to hear the Lord so clearly, he also let me in on the fact that it would make him feel
a tad a heck of a lot better if I experienced Africa for myself just to confirm that I too felt the Lord tugging our family in that direction after having been there. Fair enough! I'm also grateful for a hubby who desires to make sure I'll be a happy mama and not get to Africa one day and say, "What?! Why in the world did you bring our family here?! I hate it!"- I think that would truly be his worst nightmare!
Keeping all that in mind, inevitably my experience in Uganda was captured through a filter of "Can I see our family living here?" I most definitely took advantage of every opportunity to talk with any "non-Ugandan's" (is that a word?! I would say American's but I spoke with a gal from Holland too, so I can't lump her into the American category?!) who already live there to pick their brain for what Africa life is like from their perspective! Thank you Kirby (with Sixty Feet), Danielle and Renee (with Serving His Children), and Mariska (Yep, you guessed it, the gal from Holland with Food Step) for your gracious spirits and precious time you were willing to give me in answering my plethora of questions! Our conversations meant more to me than you probably will ever know! What amazed me most as I spoke with each of these ladies, was how God so clearly was woven into how they ended up in Uganda. Each of them with a very different story of how they got there and each of them with a very different story of how God is using them there!
But here is where I have to be honest and say as I spoke with Kirby, Danielle, Renee, and Mariksa,I thought to myself, "There is NO WAY I could do what they do! I would emotionally break down and be a crappy mom and wife if I did what they do on a daily basis! I'm not as strong as them, or smart as them, or brave as them, or as faithful as them! How in the world are you going to get my family to Africa God?!?!?"
It's funny how in hindsight it can seem so clear that God was trying to teach me an obvious lesson, yet I totally missed it! I remember thinking to myself that each of their stories were so uniquely different from each other, BUT how I assumed for some reason that my story was going to look like one of theirs! And I was overwhelmed at the thought of trying to put myself into their shoes, because their shoes seemed to fit them perfectly, but be way too big for me to fill! I missed the point... God was showing me how all their stories were so different from each other so that I would realize my story would be different too! He would write it, I didn't have to figure it out!
It wasn't until I got home from my trip and I was sharing this thought with my sweet (and very wise) friend Courtney, and she gently reminded me, that of course I couldn't do what they do! I'm NOT them! God wired them specifically for their role! He didn't wire me for their purposes... God's story for each of our lives looks totally different! As she shared that simple truth with me, it was as if a weight was lifted from my chest, and God's lesson He had tried to reveal earlier to "slow to catch on Hilary" was all the sudden so clear! God's plan for my life is custom made to suit my personality and the way He created me so that He can shine through me best. His plan enables me to be the wife and mother He longs for me to be! God's story is tailor made for our family so that Joshua and Jude (and Isa too!) will be used by God for far greater things than I can imagine! Does that mean life is always going to be easy?! Absolutely not! Does that mean that I won't ever have to step outside my comfort zone?! I wish, but NO! BUT, what it does mean is that I don't have to figure it all out.... all I have to do is be available! What it does mean is that I can trust God's agenda and plan, and I don't have to come up with it on my own. God will pave the way to our own unique story of how He gets our family to Africa!
Can I just tell you what a relief it is to hand this one over to God?! If I learned one thing for sure while in Uganda, it's that life is hard there. I am confident that when we move to Africa, however God gets us there, we will face heartache, we will face poverty, we will face injustice, we will face brokenness... and we'll only be able to face all of this by God's strength, clinging to the hope found in His goodness and trusting that we are in HIS will! The reality is, it's gonna be hard. So... that leaves me on my knees begging for HIS PLAN, HIS AGENDA, HIS STORY, HIS WAY, HIS DESIRES... because I don't want to live my life outside of HIS PURPOSES!
Like Joshua, I too came home from Uganda certain that God was in fact preparing our family for Africa. I have no idea when or how we'll get there- but I'm learning that's okay! It leaves the door open for God to reveal His path and not let mine get in the way! I have more peace about that now than ever before.
Rest assured, we are seeking God's wisdom and discernment for our family and we're trusting that He will be clear! We will be faithful to GO and FOLLOW when He opens the door!