This is a big picture post… my first post since the big move overseas.
And so much has happened. So much of life has changed in just a small span of time.
I will be sharing more as I can.
And, honestly I don’t really have the words yet.
but they will come.
posts will be written about this journey.
But for now…
Here are a few words and many pictures to lead you through the days before we flew.
Hopefully in these pictures you will see the joy and the pain that accompanied our last month.
The last few times of driving my van and carting my girls around to the store or the library or the post office.
The little baggies of things that we won’t use again for a long time… emptying our purses and wallets of store cards, unused gift cards, coupons and other things we can no longer use.
Taking “passport” pictures for beloved stuffed animals that were privileged enough to fly on the plane with us.
Squishing other toys and stuffed animals and jeans in every nook and cranny of every single bin and bag.
Filling space bag after space bag. Weighing each thing 10 times.
Last meals with cousins on Grandma’s deck
Final runs through west Michigan… letting go of the intense stress we weren’t always aware we were carrying.
And insane faces of “please… I can not sort any more stuff or fill out anymore paperwork or say goodbye to anything else!”
Many bowls of ice cream. with second helpings.
Ranger Rick’s final performance and bug cooking for strangers
A birthday trip to a deer park with Grandpa
And of course petting pigs… who doesn’t need to pet a pig?
Realizing that the Senegal colors adorn this ice cream sign… and stopping to take a picture
Getting one final pedicure… pretending that all the work will do itself without me for an hour
And trying to save money while also trying to eat at our favorite places one last time
Lots of hugs for each other… because this process is taking everything we have and more… while kids take blurry pictures with my phone
and the baggage piles up. and up. and up. with runs to the store for more yellow duct tape.
Fitting in birthday parties for Abby and Jeremy and Elizabeth and Grandpa.
And shopping for birthday cards just for them.
Getting Euros for Abby’s birthday
And stealing precious time one afternoon in the hammock to contemplate what is to come…
Then packing… praying it all will fit… that it all will weigh the right amount. it all will ship safely and arrive intact.
Smiling… forcing ourselves to feel a bravery we can’t explain on the biggest day of our lives so far. A long flight over the ocean happening in just hours.
Taking a selfie as we arrive in Chicago while thinking, “What on earth are we doing? #ohdearbetsy”
Eating our last lunch with our parents…
Trying desperately not to think of the days, holidays, birthdays, moments we will miss… the time we won’t have and the valuable relationships we are parting with very soon for a very long time…
It broke our hearts. Nothing has felt like that moment of walking away from our parents and sisters and families.
But walk away we did… into the complete unknown, hearts breaking, tears streaming down our faces, watching our girls struggle with something much bigger than anything they’ve ever faced before… a transition unlike anything we have experienced in the past.
We walked away in obedience to a call.
We walked away knowing that good things are ahead even if we can’t see them or feel them in this moment.
We walked away because God has a plan and He has asked us to be a part of it.
We flew an ocean away from home. together.
for one purpose.
To see this hurting world know that God loves them immensely.
And those were the days before we flew.