Monday, July 27, 2015

Days Away.......I Praise You for the Pain!

It sounds like a really goofy thing to say, "thank you so much for the hurt, Lord.".  If I'm being honest, however, this is exactly how I am feeling.  Over the past month we have been participating in missions training in Colorado Springs, CO.  It so far surpassed our expectations that I am already putting into practice one of the countless things that we learned there.
For me, grief, loss and sadness have always been somewhat of a private matter.  For you to have access meant that I granted you access and that was rarely done by me.  This past week, however, I was granted by God a new perspective on grief, loss and sadness.  First, it doesn't have to be private.  Private grieving is often what we do in North America and we often are so private that we won't even cry in front of each other because we are afraid of the discomfort it causes.  At the end of Acts 20 we see the Ephesian elders weeping without restraint because the knew that they would not see Paul's face again.  Jesus wept when he saw the the grieving of the death of Lazarus.  He wept and grieved out loud because of the effect of sin.
Here is what has impacted me in the past week.  I hurt for all of the relationships that are going to be put on hold.  I hurt for the relationships that may never be the same when and if I come back.  I hurt that I will not be able to hug many of my friends and family.  I hurt that I can't just get on a plane and fly quickly to see some of you.  I grieve the loss of face to face conversations with so many of you.  I ache at the thought of not being able to just casually talk with so many of you.  It isn't just a few of you and those that I speak with often, its also those of you that I share humor and sadness with periodically.  I am certainly grieving the loss of you.  It aches because it means that I have been loved well by you and I have loved you well.  That is why I want this goodbye to be painful for me because you matter so much to me.  You have loved me well and that is a gift from God.
As we prepare to leave this week, I want to first say thank you for loving us so well and thank you that this is a painful goodbye.  This also is a gift from God.  Were I able without tears to say goodbye to you, this would indicate no investment into your life and that would be horrifying for me. Second, I want to ask you for your patience.  As we hit the ground in Uganda, it will be very important for us to focus all of our energies on getting rooted, established and involved in our community.  We will most likely be off the grid for about 8 weeks while we settle into our new life in the field.  Once we have a sustainable rhythm, we will reconnect with you and share with you how God is working in our family and how He has answered your prayers as partners in this ministry.  We love you all very much and we are so incredibly grateful for this painful goodbye.  May He fill you to the brim with the fullness of His presence until we speak again.

Brother Justin Williams

PS.  Here are a few pictures from our time in Colorado Springs, CO including some pictures from a Slovak Russian Church that we attended while we were there.  Thank you for allowing us the time to participate in this transitions training, it was the very best training that we have ever participated in!

1 comment:

  1. Well said and well done! Keep living out the lessons you gained at MTI! We're here and ready to welcome you!!