"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It seems we are continuously reminded that we have changed a lot, and not just Kelly and I but the kids also.
We understand that most people do not understand where we have come from and what we have been through and how that affects the lens that we view life through. It is not that it is good or bad-it is just different. But it can be hard for people to accept and understand. Things that are a big deal for many just are not for us anymore and vice-a-versa. The way we talk about things, the way we think about things, the way things come out…it can just be different. For Kel and I we get it- but for the older kids it can be kind of confusing, because they like us are now using a different lens. And as 12-14 yr olds I am not sure that they understand that just as sometimes they can’t see and understand things through other people’s lenses, those other people don’t necessarily understand that they (our kids) can’t be looked at and understood by their own lenses either. You know the saying, “kids say the darnedest things…” well, our kids filters are just different. The kids have seen so much and dealt with so much more than most kids here just ever have to (especially at their age). It is not that it is good or bad or that we want it to be an excuse, but it is an explanation. I am sad at times that the kids have had to go through so much so young but at the same time I am not. PARADOX. I think most people conveniently forget that there are many different lenses to look at life through. And I think that is good (different lenses). Because God put us in places to develop that lens and He uses us all. Where I can be effective because of my lens, you may not be.
An example: there were a number of small children that Mariah took care of and a couple of weeks ago we got word that one of them (Peoples) drowned after church on a Sunday morning. Mariah took it very hard, she loved Peoples. Every Sunday Mariah had Peoples on one side and his little sister Memory on the other side and she had her arms around both. Mariah has a gift with children and it is from God. She took Peoples’ death very hard. She has been thinking about death lately (I am sure a lot more than most kids her age). She has been questioning God and WHY this happened because it does not make sense. And you know what? It doesn’t, and for a 12yr old, it really is hard. I commend her, she gets that life sucks sometimes but you have to go on. She gets that sometimes it feels like you can’t do anything about what is going around you (I do too sometimes!). But it does not mean you cannot question God or get to be angry with Him or that sometimes what you’re thinking comes out in ways that don’t make sense. She understands that God can take it. That is one thing that we have tried to teach them but I think we have modeled for them more. The farther I get away from our time in Africa the more I realize that we will never get away from it, it is a part of us. It has changed us in more ways than we realize; some for the better, so I am not sure about yet. But it is who we are now, like it or not. Our eyes have been open to areas/things that at times I wish they would not have been (because it would be easier if they would still be close). But they have been opened and we cannot go back even if we wanted to, even though we try at times. I wonder how God is going to use this/us now, where we are, especially when it just feels like we have come back full circle and for what?

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