I do not have words to describe the state of my soul. The outpouring of love and generosity from loved ones and strangers is beyond measure.
Last weekend a group of 80+ United Methodist lay speakers whom I had only known for 10 hours prayed over me and for me and my family as we embark on this journey to Malawi. That same evening we gathered around the table with the Bryant family who welcomed us, served us, offered their wisdom and played with our children. The following afternoon after worship we gathered around the table at the Mather house with Dot Anderson (a lifetime missionary in Mozambique and Belmont member), Landon Taylor (from the General Board of Global Ministries) and Elmira Sally (a missionary in Uganda) where again our family was welcomed and served delicious food, and advised and prayed for.
And if that were not enough, Dot called me Sunday evening to tell me three things. And I will treasure all these words and ponder them in my heart. She said,
1. You must allow people to love you and you must accept their generosity. Find something to say that has integrity for you and that allows people to love you.
2. You are not special. You are simply doing what you want to do and what God has for you. “I heard these words”, she said, “from a doctor as we traveled by ship from Lisbon to Mozambique as he chastised his wife for fawning over us and they have kept me on an even keel.”
3. You are the only one who can parent your children – even when you are afraid you might be offending someone. Take your own water with you and keep your children safe even at the risk of offending someone’s hospitality. They will understand and they will respect you for being a good parent.
My soul is not large enough to hold all these blessings. I’m assuming that all the tears I’ve cried are somehow making room for the blessings yet to come.