Where We’ve Been
We had barely made it to California when our family, whom we were staying with, tested positive for COVID! Keep in mind that this was June of 2020, and the VID was new, and the world was hysterical.
We vividly remember right after being told we had been exposed, our little family of 5 sitting in one small room, my husband and I trying to hold it together while we formulated a plan, when my then 7-year-old daughter who was crying, said “I don’t want to die. I have seen the news and people are dying. Are we going to die?”
Crushed……..We felt helpless but knew in that moment that packing up and heading back to Texas was the only real option we had, so within 30 minutes we had loaded up the car and were headed home. We drove straight through and landed back in S.A. the next day, to a completely empty house.
We were so disappointed. Our neatly laid plan was crumbling, and we had no idea what we were going to do. We couldn’t leave the house because we were on a 14-day quarantine, yet we had nothing. No food, no furniture, and no idea for what was next-which turns out is actually a blessing, because if you knew what was coming you might not proceed.
14 days seems like an eternity in an empty house filled with fear. I know it sounds dramatic now, but when covid first took off the waiting period between exposure and testing felt like purgatory. As it turned out though only one of us got covid that go round, my 11-year-old, who had to spend the next 7 days alone in a room, and if that was not bad enough, that same week, our house sale fell through, and the Guatemalan borders closed for the unknown future, which meant our tickets were canceled.
The entire world was going nuts, and with our hands tied, and so little certainty about the future we decided to take the house off the market. To say we were devastated was an understatement. We were finally able to reach out and grab this dream that had been held in our hearts for so long, only to have it evaporate the moment our fingers touched it.
We were heartbroken. Our unfulfilled expectations gave way to doubt-doubt that God, despite having previously experienced His power and goodness, is who He says He is and will do what He says he is going to do.
So, we wrestled, and we waited for the borders to reopen and for God to show us how to move forward. The waiting felt like forever! Keep in mind, we were in transition living out of suitcases and on donated furniture. We called this our season of wading through the waiting. It felt so hard, yet so necessary. God is so good. He was working on us. He needed time to move and shake some things within our vision, which would come through the kind of refinement that only trials can bring. The kind that brings you to your knees and force you to get really clear with God on your why.
TRUST…we are not the waiting kind of people. Patience is definitely not one of our strong suites and we were surely not kicking back and relaxing. Thinking that for sure we would be able to depart by the start of the year, we left the girls enrolled in school in Guatemala and by mid-August, they had started virtually, along with the rest of the nation. While the girls were working from home, we dove headfirst into remodeling our house so that we could rent it out when we left and began to focus our efforts on rebuilding our funding.
To no avail.
As the year came to a close, it became clear that we would not be able to leave as anticipated. Uncertain about the future, donors were hard pressed to commit, and our funding was limited. The borders remained closed until late fall, but even once they reopened the country was in a stringent lockdown for close to a year, and to top it off, Rhea was having some health complications that would require multiple visits and further testing and exploration from the neurosurgeon.
Frustrated, tired, and longing for some stability, we were spent. With disappointment around every bend, we just didn’t know if we had it in us to keep pressing on.
We took a much-needed vacation, and spent the holidays in Oregon with family, resting, relaxing, and reevaluating. We came home defeated, and it wouldn’t be the whole truth if we didn’t tell you, that this was a really dark time for us, likened to the dark night of the soul.
Our hearts were sick, and it was hard to see clearly through all the disappointment.
Our pastor once said that growth comes through pain and looking back on that time it was a defining time in not only our faith journey, but in solidifying our resolve for what was to come.
To be continued…………………………………