20 December 2011

The Fireball

6:24 am.

We had woken an hour and a half before. Final preparations were made. Bags were checked, double checked and zipped once and for all. Teeth were brushed. Sleepy kiddos were roused, dressed and had said goodbyes to their friends and house-mates of two months. My girlie and I sat in the back of the hired taxi. Mike, H,our friend (driving) and our seven bags had all been loaded into the car behind us.

The cars was headed for the airport and the road was growing brighter by the minute. There was conflict in my thoughts and soul over our bittersweet circumstances, confusion in the midst of the continued uncertainty of the past four months of our lives.

“When will we return to this region of the world?” I wondered to myself. “When will I again hear Arabic and speak Arabic, this language that I have become so accustomed to?”

I begged God. “Please don’t let this be the end of this season of making our life in this region of the world. Please don’t let this be the end!” And then I instantly wondered if it’s pride that doesn’t want to let us settle again in America. I know pride is not worth it. “But don’t let this be the end. I want to continue to make my life overseas, Jesus. We all do.” Tears welled up in my eyes. They had brimmed over from my heart.

The sun was rising. The fireball was growing brighter and my thoughts wandered.

I thought about how I’d changed in our last three months of wilderness-wandering in Jordan. How God stretched me. Taught me. Grew me. I have faith that He did much more inside of me than I was even aware of. Though it was one of the most challenging seasons of my life, I am confident that God allowed my roots to go deeper in the midst of it.

I was interrupted from my thoughts from the taxi driver who had apparently begun to feel chatty. “You are from America?” he asked.

“Yes” I said.

“Why are you leaving Jordan?” he wonders. “You have two baby?” “From where in America? New Jersey?” “You see Petra?” “Jordan good?”

I answered those questions and more with a huge grin inside my head, if not spread across my face as well. These broken-English questions have also become a part of my life… a fair skinned and haired lady an obvious foreigner living in a olive-skinned land with two toddlers. The goateed husband throws them off sometimes, but I don’t think we fool anybody, really. My words were returned to the taxi driver in the same broken English that they were asked in. This assures that I am understood, which I was. Our lifestyle has provided many opportunities to perfect the art of speaking with those who have English as a second language. Just one of many useless (or maybe not) skills I’ve learned in the past several years. I asked God again “Please don’t let this be the end…”

Then my daughter looked over to me with her wide blue eyes, “Kiah byebye?” she asks.

“Yes, sweetheart, we had to say goodbye to your friend Kiah. You’ll miss her, won’t you?” Even my peanut of a girlie understood that had said our goodbyes and that we were again, moving on.

“Yeah” Sweet N answered, in her soft gentle not-yet-two year old voice. She’s spent more than a quarter of her life bouncing around the world waiting on visas now. How I long to have routine and a proper home for her. She’s said many more goodbyes than her short life should have to allow for.

The sun was rising higher and it was nearly blinding by then, burning over the horizon. I felt God’s presence with me, even in the midst of the confusing swirl of emotions I was experiencing as we drew closer to the airport. Though I was feeling a bit lost and confused, I knew His closeness. I wanted to hear from Him. I needed to hear from Him.

I turned up my iPod with one earbud in one ear. It was Shane and Shane. This is what I heard…

Your mercy reigns
Your mercy comes
Your mercy falls
And rises with the sun

It’s new every morning
It’s new every morning
It’s good enough for me

I got it. I heard Him. Mercy. His mercy was rising with the sun. It was rising THEN with the fireball of a sun that was blinding me at that very moment. His mercy was pouring out of the sun whose brilliance could not be ignored. His mercy was covering me in light. His mercy has reigned, WILL reign as we continue to wait for the pathway to be shown in front of us.

I will abide in Your love. Your love.

I will abide in His love. Wherever I am in the world. Whatever I am doing. No matter how much confusion there is. No matter how long we have to wait. I want to abide in His love and live fully aware of His daily mercies as we continue to wait for our visas from the other side of the world.

That day, especially, I needed the personal assurance of His mercy as we bid our favorite region of the world goodbye, unknowing of when we might set foot on it again. And now, as we continue to wait with eyes peeled for that path in front of us to be revealed, we continue to walk in His mercy. It’s new every morning.


  1. beautifully said. will continue to pray for your family as you take a little detour. one thing i have learned over and over again is that God had a better plan than we can ever imagine.

  2. Just catching up with your news... You are in my prayers: from one wanderer to another! Wonder what God has planned for us this year? I know that he uses our weaknesses, including being away from the place that feels most like home. It's all for his glory, mushkida?

  3. Catherine, I think of you often too... we are two wanderers of unknown futures aren't we? Good thing our God is a solid rock on which we can stand (metaphorically speaking, thank goodness, since your legs are still healing!). For that I am SO thankful!


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