Hi – It’s been quiet around these pages for a few days, and I haven’t meant to keep you hanging or wondering after news so I apologize. News has either been non-existent or discouraging. Every time I thought about posting an update I immediately heard things in my head like, “if you don’t have anything nice to say…” or Jesus’ directive from the gospels to, “submit to governing authorities,” or my personal favorite from Forrest Gump, “that’s all I have to say about that.” You know really, light-hearted, humbling pieces of advice to keep my mouth shut and never stop praying. So that is where I have been – attempting to still the noise and even more so trying really hard not to create noise just for the sake of noise-making, venting, justice seeking. I was starting to feel bad for how bad I was feeling – that nagging cliche of Christian culture implying that on the heels of every ‘this hurts!’ must come a ‘but God is good-ism.’ God is good. But this hurts. And saying so, and feeling so heavy the very prayers I utter feel as bricks thrown, heaved from my gut, does not mean my faith is lost. It quite simply means, this hurts.
In my impending guilt over the ache and weight of my soul, I turned to the prophet Jeremiah seeking some reference point for these emotions. For whatever reason, around me, when in doubt let’s check Jeremiah. I get him, and his words never fail to get me. Let’s be honest, who better to lament with than the author of Lamentations? And there it was:
7 My soul has been rejected from peace;
I have forgotten happiness.
18 So I say, “My strength has perished,
And so has my hope from the LORD.”
25 The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.
26 It is good that he waits silently
For the salvation of the LORD.
27 It is good for a man that he should bear
The yoke in his youth.
28 Let him sit alone and be silent
Since He has laid it on him.
29 Let him put his mouth in the dust,
Perhaps there is hope.
30 Let him give his cheek to the smiter,
Let him be filled with reproach.
31 For the Lord will not reject forever,
32 For if He causes grief,
Then He will have compassion
According to His abundant lovingkindness.
33 For He does not afflict willingly
Or grieve the sons of men.
34 To crush under His feet
All the prisoners of the land,
35 To deprive a man of justice
In the presence of the Most High
Thank you great prophet, for words when I have none. And believe me or not, even in their anguish reading those words brought me peace and I slept better last night than any night in weeks. So well in fact when I did wake around 5:30 I thought I may have slept through any alarm going off in the mid of night alerting us to an email from the USE. Turns out I hadn’t slept through it, but an email did arrive about an hour later. Prayers have been answered and the Embassy has been able to make contact via phone with the officer they requested to interview, and they are now working in tandem to gather any last pieces of information required for our case to be cleared. The USE says they will let us know when they have all they need. We again are filled with hope and cautious anticipation – could it be tonight? Please God, let it be tonight! We have asked so long and so much of you I don’t even feel I can ask you to pray, but alas…please pray.