Yesterday I shared a brief overview of EMC. Today I get a little more personal.
One of the poignant lessons for me was the reminder that we must be doing all things in love. I tried to keep that at the forefront of my mind as I soaked up the details of church planting strategy. Right now, 3,000 miles away and with our vision for Spain constantly on our hearts and tongues, that feels easy.
You know when love is not easy?
When your brain is about to explode with information and spiritual thoughts from a day’s worth of training but you can’t sit and discuss over coffee with your spouse because you have to pick up a sick, hungry toddler from the nursery, feed her at a restaurant and drain her energy before you all go to bed at the same time, which is too early for you, too late for her, in the same hotel room. When your very pregnant body is more tired than your brain and you still have to cuddle the toddler, who’s never spent so many hours away from you each day.
We found it difficult to connect, as a couple, while we were away at training. The enemy doesn’t have to work hard to create stress when your week of spiritual work is book-ended by five hour flights with a lively little girl who really only sleeps in her bed and likes to break crayons, not color with them. Did I mention the time change? How about the ER visit the morning we flew home?
But we prayed, we depended on God, we tried to set aside selfishness and be helpful to one another, and God answered our prayers. The time change meant Susanna slept in a little each morning. She napped on campus perfectly and adored her teachers, a local pastor and his wife plus some teens from their church and a fellow missionary. We found time with the Lord on our breaks, or in bed with the light of our smart phones. And we helped each other. I’d like to say, especially, that Chris helped me. I have been experiencing severe back pain and the week away was challenging.
And then when I returned I found this blog by Lisa-Jo Baker about real love, “When You Think Your Love Story is Boring.” What a love story we are so privileged to live!
If you prayed for us this week, please know that your prayers worked. We felt them. Susanna’s sleep, our training, surviving the week in the hotel, the finances… it all went according to God’s plan and we are so grateful for your faithfulness to us.
We often feel like slow, bumbling, unqualified, missionaries-in-training (-who-will-never-graduate). Your support is invaluable to us.