Monday is right around the corner. If you would have asked me three months ago why I was already dreading June 5th, I would have said I couldn’t bear the thought of saying goodbye to my dad. Today, however, my angst is for a very different parting that awaits us.
We are headed back to Texas. We explored several options in an attempt to do ministry and stay here in Tanzania, but ultimately the timing was off and it didn’t feel right. For now, the plan is to go back to Texas and try to restart our lives in Austin. Although, with the number of curve balls God has allowed to come my way, I’m trying to bite my tongue a little harder when people ask me what our plans are. I don’t know what life looks like from here. I thought I’d be in Tanzania for the next ten+ years. We said goodbye to so so much and here we are, headed back.
Honestly, it feels like a walk of shame. I think to myself, how did this even happen? What could we have done differently to prevent this?
Last Sunday we saw our boys at church. There was a big group of volunteers and they decided to bring all of the big kids to the church we usually meet with on Sunday mornings. As I looked at all of those kids, every emotion came flooding back into my heart. Their big eyes full of happiness, hope, confusion. Angelous kept asking me, “You are coming back to Ucare house?!” Oh–my heart! Franki came to dance with Tylee and Ember as we sang. Julius kept winking at Jonathan. Tumaini wouldn’t let go of us and wanted to know, “What about America?”
We loved those boys as long as we could. There is nothing that we could have done differently in good conscious to have prevented this. No preparation on our side could have changed the outcome. We had no way of knowing how any of this would unfold. Our hearts are so sad to leave this place we’ve started to call home and these people who have stepped in as family and loved us and our children so well. We will miss this lovely place and these beautiful people.
When we saw those precious familiar faces at church last week, it was the best and worst thing that could have happened. Worst because we had to say goodbye again, but best because we never thought we would get another chance to hug their necks. In a similar way, I am so excited to go back to America and love on some friends and family–some of whom I thought I may never see again. Even where it hurts, there is beauty in this serendipity. And thank God that He makes beauty out of ashes.