It was the end of winter, but the house and yard still looked bleak from the street.
It was empty, of course. Which made it look more lonely, dejected.
The shrubs were overgrown. The garden looked tired.
I turned off the key in the ignition.
“Hey, why don’t we get out of the car and see how it is inside?”
“Hmmm, not really, Mom. I’ll just stay here.” One voice piped up.
No sound from the others.
Just a slight grimace here.
A thoughtful look there.
I let the silence hang in the air. I joined them in their thoughts.
Nearly four years ago we left this place to welcome a new life in the USA.
A job offer to lead a global team. An exciting opportunity to start a new chapter though still suffering grief.
Much prayer and consideration. Then leaps of faith for all. More prayers. Many miracles. New friends like family. New school. New church. New community. A warm group of colleagues at work. A network of old and new friends forming a protective band around us. Challenges at work were smoothed by collaboration among professionals. Family challenges were not faced alone. It was like an oasis. Raleigh, North Carolina.
But now we’re back. The company has settled us in a serviced apartment while we waited for our household goods being shipped across the seas. But where would we live when the goods arrive, other than the home we once knew?
“What if we refreshed the place? New carpets, fresh paint, brand new kitchen?” I said out loud.
“Repair the fence?” Said another. “Yes!”
“Trim the bushes and trees. Make the garden pretty!” “That’s a good idea.”
“New wardrobes?” “Of course.”
Another thoughtful silence. Then a time for prayer right there inside the car.
“Let’s make new memories.” The eldest child declared. And that’s what we did.
My children and I love God and follow Jesus. At school, at work, in life, through upheavals, storms, successes and delights, we know His loving presence in our lives. If you marvel at how we can be so ‘together’, we can only say that God put our broken pieces back together. Not by our effort (though we have labored hard through the difficulties), not by resources (though we have been provided for in plenty), but by His spirit we are made strong and wise.
Is there something broken in your life? May you glimpse hope and inspiration in our story and in this song.
“All these pieces
Broken and scattered
In mercy gathered
Mended and whole
But not forsaken
I’ve been set free
I’ve been set free
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost
But now I’m found
Was blind but now I see.“
Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace) by Hillsong