It's been two years and a half years since we got off that little plane and walked on Namibian soil for the first time in our lives. There was so much uncertainty. So much excitement. So much unknowing. Those two years have been a roller coaster.
My time here brought lots of excitement at new opportunities and being in a new place.
It saw months of depression, loneliness, and general sadness.
There were lots of adventures, road trips, and dune-climbing.
It saw the rejoicing in our household as our baby sister was born and adopted into our family.
There were lots of morning coffee dates with my parents and baby sister as we encouraged each other and strengthened our relationship.
Lots of friends came and went, leaving lessons learned with our memories made together.
It saw our family grow closer and close together as lonely days dragged on.
There were lots of movie nights, game nights, and dinners with friends.
There were lots of evening runs to clear my mind.
Lots of tears were cried and nights spent crying myself to sleep, praying that The Storm would pass.
When I think of being here, all the trials I went through, and the lessons I learned, I instantly think of 1 Peter 1:6-7.
"In all of this you greatly rejoice, that now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."
Namibia was the Fire. It was where I was burned, refined, and molded into the woman of God He desires me to be.
At times, it was a painful experience that I will never forget. But the result is something else I will never forget- a renewed faith in Him. A new trust in Him and His plan for my life, because at times, it was the only thing that kept me holding on with what little strength was left in me.
I clung to the hope that everything I was going through was all because He allowed it. He allowed me to feel the pain, the sadness, the loneliness, the depression because as I fell deeper and deeper, I was being drawn closer and closer to Him.
As our time draws to a close, I'm reminded of all the memories I've made here. It makes me sad to think of leaving this chapter of my life behind. But I'm excited to turn the page and begin a new chapter, a new journey.
Although these two and a half years have been so difficult, it's ONLY through those difficulties that I learned what I have. I'm going home a new person, yes. But I want to make sure that change sticks, that I don't return to who I was before. I never leaned on Him like I did here, because when you're surrounded by people who love you and everything you need at your fingertips (aka Walmart), why would you?
I don't want to go back to being naive of the hurt that is in the world around me. It'd be so easy to get on that plane and never think of this place again. But I never ever want to do that. This place has changed me inside and out and has played such an important roll in who I am now.
So that's all. The journey home begins! Please keep our family in your prayers as we travel and adjust.