Our family left the States for North Africa two months before the New Year, and in those two months we spent time in three different countries. We were in our new home for approximately one month, and now we await new visas in our passports so we can return.

But that one month consisted of a great deal, like learning the difference between fireworks and fighting. At first we walked with a limp, but at least we were in motion. Our son stated it perfectly on our flight over, “I guess I have to ‘get normal’ to all this again,” and there is lots to “get normal” to.

As we left to travel, I threw a pile of things on the bed with a note that read “TAKE THESE THINGS,” so that in the event any or all of us were unable to return, we might see those things again.

This is something that never occurs to me to do in the States, though our travels there are far more frequent. Our lives now are full of uncertainties, yet we could be no more certain of Him.

We anticipate returning to our new home very soon, and I marvel at His grace. We have found our new home to feel familiar very quickly. We saw His fingerprints over so many things—from the place we found to live, to the opportunities we already had, to the surprising and warm reception by the people. When will we learn to not be so surprised at His goodness?

The unexpected warmth meeting us in our new home has very quickly endeared these people to our hearts. Already multiple plates of food have been exchanged between neighbors and our family. In our context, if someone brings you a plate of food, you never return an empty plate. Imagine the cycle that ensues! Pray with us that with each exchange we also offer the Bread of Life.

We are eager to return, though in the preparation there is stark contrast in my heart between the tremendous anticipation and sobriety I feel.

We can only go in if He makes a way, and we can only stay if He sustains us. There is much to praise Him for and much to trust Him for. Lord, help us to praise You while we are trusting. A new year, and only God knows what it holds. We must predetermine to praise and trust—it is an anchor when the emotions aren’t there or they lie to us.

I look forward to hanging pictures and calling it home for as long as He allows—which we hope is for very long time.

That pile of stuff on the bed will be there. It will remind me that while some things are dear to us, God is immeasurably dearer and He has made a way for us.

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