We have been enjoying some beautiful weather here in West Michigan the past few days. It has been in the high 40's-low 50's when I wake up (it might be a little cooler when my kids get up!) and the early morning warmth has made my mind wander back to the mornings we had in South Africa. While I was not overly fond of being woken up by the sun between 5:00 and 5:30 or by the pecking of the horn bills, I LOVED sitting outside in the morning with a cup of coffee, the sun already shining, my kids following Amos around, the sounds of so many different birds chirping, the occasional impala sighting and so much more.
I love the sunshine we have been having, but it makes me miss the time we had in South Africa so much. I find myself dreaming up schemes to get us back there. We don't talk about it much, but we were so close to moving to Africa. We had a plan, we were ready to make an offer on a lodge, we were trying to figure out what to do with our stuff and how to say goodbye to our friends and family, and then it all fell apart. Darin and I stopped listening to each other and started fighting, I had a major freak out and the decision was made to not go forward. Then something changed. We had a big heart to heart talk, we prayed, we felt READY and we decided to put in the offer. We found out that someone else had made an offer a couple weeks before us, soon after the time we decided to stop the whole process. It was PAINFUL and it is still something I struggle with. What was God trying to teach us? Had he prevented us leaving because staying was best for us, or was it His plan that we go, but we weren't able to step out in faith and lean on Him so we missed out?
I feel like I am in a good place now, but for the first year I dealt with a lot of "what ifs" and "if only's". The warm weather just stirs up a lot of memories, mostly good, but sometimes they hurt. I just pray that the next time I am ready to step out in faith and that I don't let the fear of the unknown cause me to miss out! For now I'll just drink my morning coffee, close my eyes and, for a few minutes, I'll imagine that I am there again.