~Finding Joy in the Sorrow ~

Written on the car ride home to MA, on 15 January 2018.

So, over Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend we went to visit family friends of ours in Milford, Pennsylvania. We hadn't seen them in a long time and were looking forward to making stronger a bond that we already had. We knew that a four hour drive would play into it, and so would going to yet another church-- but to us, who really cared when we got to visit dear people of the LORD? You see this isn't just any family. Not only do they support us financially, they support us spiritually through prayer and they support us emotionally with something I like to call love and laughter and honesty. And it isn't just any love, it's a raw honest love. Something only found amongst a family unit that is so closely bonded by the Father's love for us. It's amazing. Well, the drive there ended up being more like seven and a half hours. And because we left at three in the afternoon, let's just say we pulled a really late nighter. We did a myriad of things together. But the best part of it: we were a family united all under one roof sharing what God had done in our lives over the past five years. It was a sweet reunion. Meals were amazing. Dan, Beth, Abby, Becky, John, Sam and Ligie, all made a huge effort to do everything they could to make it easy for me. They were eager to learn about my T1D and they yearned to help. I felt really blessed. And I felt very comfortable too. Having a lifestyle that needs constant attention can be embarrassing to deal with. Thankfully the LORD has given me great courage and I rarely feel uncomfortable with it. Church was a gift. The congregation they serve with and fellowship with was very welcoming. We even met a couple who had served in Senegal in the same location as us! It was so good to share with them and hear from them about their experiences in the land we call home. But oh the fun! Although I will admit there were moments we did get extremely bored : we always ended up laughing at something or adding yet another inside joke to the pile. We made new memories and dramatically failed at continuing old ones. It was exactly as a family vacation should be. But when it was time to say goodbye: there's no good way to do it. I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. It was hard on us kids. I mean, every time we see each other, we stay long enough to nurture the family bond, all to say goodbye again. Thankfully, the LORD knows our hearts and has blessed us with the ability to pick up right where we left off. I so hope and pray that God has it in store to see them again. And what a joy that will be! Until then : Hogans, we love you all dearly and pray for you. May the LORD bless you and keep you and make his face shine upon you! For he is good and his mercies are new every morning! ~Grace L. Columbine