The Bigger Picture

It's difficult to believe that summer is already halfway gone. We just returned from a 4th of July camping trip with some good friends. It was so fun -- full of beautiful mountain vistas, laughing until we couldn't laugh anymore, quiet moments, great food, music and conversation. As the miles rolled us toward home last night, I became aware of a faint sadness. Seems these days that every rich experience is also tinged with this sense of impending loss. We have entered a season of counting the "last times" in our journey to Cambodia. The last Father's Day I will celebrate in person with my incredible father for at least awhile, the last 4th of July with our feet planted on American soil, the last summer spent eating dinner while watching the lightning strike distant mountains. There is a part of me that wants to run fleeing from this time; a part of me that cries out that life is too full of letting go. Then the depths of my heart rebound with a painfully learned truth that it is when I spread my arms wide to embrace the letting go that the greatest joy and depth comes flooding in. Too introspective? Perhaps. I am the more melancholy part of this union. 

Someone asked me the other day if I feel like Cambodia impacts my daily life now. Without even thinking about it, I answered, "Cambodia is intermixed with everything we are doing." Cambodia is why we live where we do, why we own one car, and why we run a photography business on the side. It is the reason you will often see me weep in worship services -- my heart is becoming full of pictures of Asian people loving Jesus.

And when I think about that, my perspective shifts again to the bigger picture. In the quiet moments when it is just me and God, I often find myself thanking Him for giving me one of the greatest gifts I could have ever imagined receiving in my life, to live with and for Him in another part of the world. As I contemplated how my heart is stretched taut with both heartache and hope, my daily Psalm reading took me to a timely reminder. Psalm 126:5-6 says: He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow,will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him

That is His invitation to us. Not just to Jacob and I -- to all of us. God recognizes that seasons of sowing are often seasons of uncomfortable growth, failure, heartache, and disappointment. Who knew that when the Israelites were led into captivity that God was sowing seeds of faith and joy in their hearts? But He was. To put our feet on the path and embrace a life of sowing seeds means that someday, whether in this lifetime or the next, we will reap with joy a fruitful harvest. We want that life with our whole hearts.

Enjoy this next newsletter. We love sharing our lives with you.

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Noelle