This passage of Scripture comes after a great victory for the Lord. Elijah had watched as fire came down from heaven and consumed the sacrifice on the altar he had built, then he and some friends had killed 400 of Jezebel’s cronies who were prophets of Baal. So why in the world would Elijah not send the messenger back to Jezebel and say, “Bring it on. Did you see what my God just did? I wouldn’t touch me if I were you.”
One word. He was exhausted. He had built an altar by himself with his own hands and then he had spent the rest of the day killing the prophets… I mean, the man had a long day. So when Jezebel sent her threats, Elijah’s flesh kicked in and he ran for his life.
We are home. We have completed our mission. We have experienced GREAT victory.
And we are exhausted. In the midst of my sheer joy at being in a familiar environment with people who love us and have supported us through, I feel the danger lurking. I feel it when my boys start to talk about their concerns with a larger family and new family members. I feel it when Kate will only be sufficed with “mama” and refuses to share me. I feel it when jet lag causes our words to be short and our tempers to flare. I feel it when Naomi has her meltdowns and all I want to do is run to bed and put a pillow over my head. I feel it when Jessica is a bit obstinate and we can’t communicate easily as mother and daughter. I feel that danger… the urge to run… the urge to find the nearest cave and hide away from family, from everybody…from God.
While our time in China is officially over, our transition at home is just beginning. This is not something that I can even easily explain. It is so intricate. There are layers to be peeled back, there is meshing to be done, there is this seemingly unattainable balance of affection to be offered… much, much, much to be afraid that I will never conquer. And as if that was not enough… David is back to Atlanta on Monday for the week… it must be done. He has been away already for 3 weeks and that has never happened in the history of his company. I am back to work as well on Monday with 3 weeks of catch up on personal finances, company finances, Nathan’s schoolwork, not to mention first post placement reports, going through our mail, unpacking, laundry… you get the picture. Jordan goes back to school on Monday and has much to catch up on his 3 weeks away. Can you see my feet poised for running? Cause my jetlagged flesh is right there with Elijah.
I want to learn from Elijah’s mistakes. I want to hear the voice of my Savior whispering my next assignment, but I don’t want it to be from a cave. I want it to be from a place of confidence in the One who just brought us through what seemed completely impossible a few short weeks ago. We need your prayers. Those same prayers that kept us in the heat of the battle. Here is where the spectators will be separated from the ministers… and I don’t mean that in a judgemental way, but I know that some people have followed our journey from a standpoint of curiosity and other from a place of support and deep love. We need you to keep on loving us in this way as we face the days ahead and find our “normal”. I really don’t even know how long we will need these sustaining prayers, but I believe there is a day down the road when it will feel as though life has always been Jessica, Jordan, Nathan, Kate, and Naomi.
Right now, the boys are having a bit of trouble adjusting back to home, but also to new sisters in the house. Jordan feels a little displaced. Nathan feels a tad neglected. Kate has made it clear that she wants to take precedence over her Mei Mei. Jessica is pretty much in shock over everything… I can only imagine the HUGE changes she is experiencing because I know what it feels like to live in China for a bit… and she is here permanently. She is loving on us and receiving our love, but it is still difficult to communicate. I feel so bad that she can’t understand anything going on around here, but she is really taking it in stride. I just know it will wear on her. She hasn’t shed one tear since she has been with us. While I know she needs to grieve, part of me wonders if she feels she has anything to grieve. Her environment and life that she came from did not seem like anything she would miss. She does have some friends that she still communicates with, but overall, I think this girl was ready and craving a family. Naomi seems to love being home and has shown signs of compliance and attachment, but she still has her moments that make it seem she would much rather be back in China with her foster mom. Ultimately I know she will come around, but it will take effort, time and love. She still wants nothing to do with David and very little with the other kids. So that leaves Mama to fulfill the needs and still take care of everything else too.
So you can see… we have entered the danger zone. The tendency is to let our guard down and breathe a sigh of relief that it is over, but I have been warned that as soon as we do that, things will quickly fall apart and Mama will be running. So instead, I will stay on my face beseeching the Lord to complete the work and leaning into Him as He does… letting His Word feed me and His voice lead me. I would be so thankful to any of you that can join me on our behalf. Pray that we will refuse to run and that on the other side of this transition we will be the family that God has in mind.
Thank you all for loving us, for following our journey, and for letting it encourage you to more closely follow Jesus… if that is the whole purpose of our calling, it is more than enough.