Coming home this summer has been a real mixed bag of emotions for me. I feel like I’m lost between two worlds, the world that used to be and the world that is. I love my family so much, but they feel like they are a world away from me. Have I changed that much? I think I have. I know they love me, but I don’t think they get me too much anymore. Maybe they never did and I’m just noticing now?
My sister hosted a second family reunion BBQ today in her backyard. (My cousin Cheryl hosts the regular annual family reunion each summer at her home.) We had a great time. The weather was quite rainy this morning, but by picnic time cleared up nicely. All of my aunts, except for one, came. My uncle came as well. I got to see my Aunt Kay for the first time in a few years.
We ate a lot of food. We laughed. We told stories. We reminisced. I heard from my uncle who is just 6 years older than I am, how my grandad took me and him and another cousin for a ride in the trunk of his ’57 Buick? through the trailer park. He drove really fast over the speed bumps. It was the fun thing to do in 1965! I laughed so hard. I never knew this until today! I thanked my uncle for not letting me fall out of the car. 😀
There’s some major stuff brewing among the older members of my family. I’m super glad I got to see my Aunt Kay. She recently learned she has a brain aneurysm. She’s scheduled to have brain surgery on 8/26, two days before the big screening day in Congo. I also learned my Uncle Jim has cancer throughout his entire body. If I don’t see him in the next week, I may never see him again. Time is fleeting. These people I spent my whole life with are reaching the ends of their stories. They’ve lived full lives surrounded by friends and family who love them.
But God has called me to Africa. And family is more than just the one I was born into. God has called me to love and care for the broken ones who don’t stand a chance unless I allow Him to use my hands and feet, the small thing I can do, that I’m willing to do. God has asked me to join Him on this mission to give the people in Africa the chance to have what my aunt and uncle have always had, love and hope.
I have to trust and believe God will help my family in the USA get it someday. ❤