I have been reading a great book the past week written by Eunice Nordby Simonson. Eunice is the wife of Joel's cousin David Simonson who died last August. David and Eunice were missionaries in Tanzania for over 50 years and Eunice and some of her family still live on the land in Africa that was given to them by the Massai tribe. David is a legend in those parts and we have enjoyed reading about their lives for years.
As much as I have enjoyed reading, I Count My Blessings, I have felt it to be bittersweet too. From the time I was 13 I have been fascinated with missionaries and the work they do. Joel felt the same way as a teen, and when we met at Bible college and married two years later it was our plan to be missionaries in Africa. Then the draft board called and Joel spent 8 years in the Air Force. Four kids later Joel went to seminary and then we fell in love with Montana where he did his internship and spent a few years there....and then Minnesota...and then Iowa. We had always struggled with putting our children in boarding schools after some of our friends shared with us what growing up as missionary kids. So we decided to wait until our kids were grown and then do mission work....and then Lyme Disease came into our lives.
We have periodically struggling with knowing if it was God's plan for us to go to Africa or just our dream. We do know that God has blessed and used Joel's ministry to help others and that we have lived a good life. We have wonderful kids and super fantastic grandkids (of course) and our special in-loves complete our family.
Reading about the Simonsons has once again stirred the pot. Like Lot's wife, I have struggled with looking back. Looking back and wondering...looking back and saying...what if....maybe we should have....It is not a comfortable place to be. Well, we KNOW what happened to Lot's wife....she turned into a pillar of salt. Stone cold.
So, I am learning to let go of a life I once desired vs the life I now have. I am letting go of dreams that did not come to pass and giving thanks for the life I have had....and even the life I live now mostly from my living room. It is still a good life, and I mostly believe it is the life God had planned for us. Well, minus a couple of ticks that have wrecked havoc in our bodies!
We all need times like these to draw us closer to God, to learn and to grow as we question and reflect, but I certainly don't plan to spend the rest of my life looking back....wondering, mourning, questioning. I just don't want to take the chance that I could turn into a pillar of salt!