Friday, April 5, 2013


I have this thing.

It's a blessing.
It's a curse.

See, I empathize with others.
I empathize DEEPLY with others.

It's almost like when you hear those stories of men who begin to gain "sympathy weight" as their wives gain weight while pregnant, ha!

When a friend is hurting, it's as if I am carrying that burden for/with them and my heart actually hurts too...literally.

If someone in my family is going through something really tough, it literally takes a toll on my health.

Josh and I talk often about how other's circumstances effect me so deeply.  It really is such a blessing, but there HAS to be some way to balance it.  (I'll let you know if I ever come across that little secret;)

But, when something happens like what happened on Wednesday I'm done for!
We watched their airplane take off to reunite their family together in Uganda.
If you are wondering what the heck I'm talking about it's like this:
You know when you get so fed up with "stuff" and the busyness of life in America and say, "I just want to sell everything and move to Africa!"?  Well, my brother and sister-in-law did.  Wednesday we sent them off as missionaries to Uganda as they finish up their adoption process in-country for their daughter, Chloe.

Sure I've got tears of sadness because they will be missed, but I am way more excited (and maybe even a bit jealous) to see how the Lord unfolds this adventure before them simply because they continue to say "yes"!

But this situation was different than so many of the other times I have been so deeply burdened.  This situation effected every ounce of me!  As they sifted through their belongings I couldn't help but purge through mine.  As I prepared to head to the airport to see them off all the emotions of our own journey came flooding back in.

This very realistically could have been us on that airplane to Uganda.  I didn't have to imagine very hard as to what it would have felt like to be faced with that decision.

I remember the conversations Josh and I had as we were feeling our way around this process, wondering what our options were, knowing that moving to Uganda may be the choice we would be faced with.

As I sat in front of my computer, stalking their twitter pages in anticipation of their reunion with Chloe, I had a million "what if's" plaguing my mind.

What if we wouldn't have gone first?
What if there was something different we could have done in order to prevent the red flags that caused even more red flags with Jonathan and Kelly's case?
What if, what if, what if...

But if I'm gonna play the "what if" game, then I need to allow myself to go the other way too.

What if we would have never been burned so bad at that church, which led us to visit Jonathan and Kelly to get away from it all, and hear of a friend who was working at a church called Journey.
What if we hadn't have talked them into visiting Journey with us instead of that other one they wanted to visit,
What if they hadn't begun attending regularly, and later stepping in full-time on staff.
What if Jonathan and Kelly hadn't encouraged us to give Journey a shot, when we were completely scared to death to put both feet back into a church position.
What if Jonathan hadn't encouraged Journey to partner with AAI, which led to the means to build the babies home, which led us to Alethia (and Chloe).

Sometimes the what if's lead to the destiny that God has laid before us.

We weren't meant to be the ones to move to Uganda for an extended amount of time.  He is working on our trust and love for the local church body.  He has bigger plans for us here in Raleigh.

He chose the family that would bring Him the most glory!  A family who ONLY GOD could move to make such a bold step of faith, AMEN!

So when I get that tinge of guilt as I enjoy my first world pleasures, knowing that we could be the ones with limited electricity and hot water, all I need to do is look at the testimony of Jonathan and Kelly and the peace that God has given them through all of this, and be reminded of the bigger picture.

To God be the glory!

So proud to have a front row seat to the small yes's that are telling a much bigger story:)
Their entire family all together for the first time!

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