Making New Memories

“All these pieces
Broken and scattered
In mercy gathered
Mended and whole …
Amazing grace!”

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. Then I joined them in their thoughts.

I remember packing up and leaving this place, where our hearts were broken.

Nearly four years ago we for a new life in another country.
A job offer to lead a global team. Why not? It was an exciting opportunity to start a new chapter, though we were still suffering from grief.

There was much prayer and consideration. Is it the right thing to do after such loss? What about our family and friends? Many things came together. Then leaps of faith for all. There were more prayers. The came many miracles. We found a new home. We gained new friends who were as family to us. A new school for the children. New church. New community. A warm group of colleagues at work. A network of old and new friends forming a protective band around us. Even the challenges at work were not a burden because of great collaboration among colleagues. We did not face family challenges alone. It was like an oasis. Raleigh, North Carolina.

But now we’re back. It was time to come home. We settled 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 it was 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', after grief and loss, 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
Empty handed
But not forsaken
I’ve been set free
I’ve been set free

Amazing grace
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

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