Tis the season of new years resolutions. Of dreams, goals aspirations and anticipations of what is to come. For us it is the season of unknown future, uncertainty and if we allow it to take up residence fear and frustration. It truly keeps the main things the main things when we wake up each morning checking the news and hoping to return to our home, and trying to prepare ourselves if we cannot for a time. It is similar to the season of advent, waiting, and waiting and waiting and seeking and hoping.
The quick rundown is:
Our friends that we love so dearly and the community that has embraced us are in South Sudan and we are not
Our jobs, sense of identity and our plans for the year are in South Sudan and we are not
Our household items (school supplies, family mementos over the years, books, food) are in South Sudan and we are not
Our prayers and hearts are in South Sudan and we are not.
We do not know when the door will open for us to return, it could be in a few weeks, or a few months or even longer. So we are left with the question what next. If you step back and think about it it’s the question we all have before us (it just gets a bit forgotten with the day to day of routine), what will I choose to fill my days with. Today how will I serve God.
So with the main thing established as the main thing what do we do with all the unanswered questions? Pray. It is not just our future that is unknown, it is not just ours that the next steps are cloudy. Many displaced aid workers, locals, and those who wait, unable or not wanting to leave whose future is in the same deep fog join us. Many of you join us as well.
The future is foggy friends, sometimes we think we can make out shapes through the mist, but we have no idea what lies ahead and it is quite unsettling. I cannot help but think that this is how we live all the time but being stripped of the inability to plan makes it seem all the more frightening. As if someone has suddenly blindfolded us and said, “ok now walk!” We may not have been able to see the future before but at least we had our eyes open and thought (or pretended) that we could make plans and see what lied ahead.
So now I have been given this gift where the illusion of sight is taken away and I see things for as they are. I can take this gift and be bound by fear and confusion or I can lean into it, seeking God’s face and trusting Him like never before in the unknown.
So each day I can seek the face of God, what He has for me that day and allow Him to carry the future…but it is sometimes most hard to embrace this gift of truth, so I find myself taking one step, and then praying…and praying some more.
Ah yes I was going to tell you what was next. I don’t know, but I know that it involves prayer, and leaning into the grace of God for today…when the future looks a bit less foggy we’ll let you know…for now will you step forth into the unknown year with us, stand by us, pray with us and for us that we will seek God in the today, serve him in the today and not miss what He has given us today even as we await what tomorrow holds.