Our first trip back to Florida after the first six months in Guatemala rapidly approached…to be completely honest, I was a little nervous. What if I got back to Florida and did not want to come back to Guatemala. Not that I would become unsure of where God wanted me to be, but that I would not want what He had for me there anymore. That I would not be able to make the steps to get on the return flight. That I would be frozen and unable to be certain of where I was going. Six months ago, I had no reservations. Was completely sold out. What if a few weeks back in the states changed that certainty. Life was different in Guatemala, a little slower perhaps, but definitely not easier. Would I choose the ease that I once took for granted and want to stay? Those were the meandering thoughts that I had as I packed us up, gathered passports, cleaned and locked up our home in San Pedro Pinula, and rode the almost four hours into Guatemala City.
What if? What good ever came from a “what if?” in my life? Most of the questions posed have been “Why not?”… Yes, as I laugh, I was that “Why?” child. My poor mother!
God reminded me that my “what if?” held no real weight if I trusted Him. What if…? What if anything happened or didn’t? Would it change who I was in Christ? Would it change anything about what Jesus has done for me? Would God love me more or less or even change His mind about choosing me to be one of His?
No. Not even a little bit.
My “what if” simply showed a lack of trust in Him and what He has done, was doing, and will do in and through my life. Ahh…yes. Trust me, Mandy, He says. Just go when I tell you to, He encourages. Love when and where and who I tell you to, He reminds.
“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.” Hebrews 10:23.
Only a handful of friends and family knew that we were coming. We had kept it kind of quiet because we really weren’t sure if we would be granted the exit visas needed to come back because we had begun our residency process in Guatemala. But, God is good and faithful- and we returned to Florida on Guatemalan visas. I joked with the immigration officer that only the cool kids get the have their US passports stamped with a Guate visa…his deadpan was reply enough for me. Ok. Moving on…
Our trip began with a funeral, followed by a trip to Georgia, a surprise volleyball visit, one lost tooth, Lake Placid, Fort Ogden, Arcadia, church visits- new and home, a 10 year birthday for our girl, Prom for our boy,
dinners, meetings, love given and shared, a couple of hours with my toes in the sand, an ATV ride on the trails less traveled, a fishing trip, a tube ride on the lake, sandcastles, floating docks, an indoor trampoline park, Sonny’s Big Deals and Sweet Tea, Florida sunrises and sunsets, Easter dresses and dinner, 501c3 application and wait, packing empty bags, again, bittersweet tears…
To leave here is to arrive there. To leave there is to arrive here. He is here and there. He is everywhere. With everyone. But, we cannot be…
An orphan care conference in Tennessee, donated CPR dummies, Spanish Bibles, and curriculum, attorney fees graciously covered, our path reconfirmed- willing and eager to go back home- home to Guatemala. A deepened ache for those that we love but are lost. A Flying Biscuit breakfast and the best grits ever, a hot water heater for the kitchen in Guatemala, next year’s homeschool curriculum, and a few comfort goodies thrown in for good measure.
My cup and my bags overflowed. It was a miraculous thing that the bags made the weight and zipped. Our hearts were filled to overflowing with love from our family and friends. Those hugs and kisses, well wishes, and promises to continue to pray we carefully stored away for those days when they would be all we would love to wrap up in the most. Financial commitments encouraged new ideas for ministry growth and eased concern for provision.
As we drove the almost four hours to the airport in Miami, I prayed and thanked God.
For this time- for these experiences- for provision- for your love- for the support given to us- for the obedience of His saints- for this life that He has chosen for us. We thank you. We love you. May all of our lives bring Him glory.
We had a wonderful visit. Crazy busy and busting at the seams! With complete confirmation of the life He has for us. No “what if’s” here…or there. We love you and will miss you until we see you again.