France glimpse 1: without words

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I’m revising some old posts from our time in France to give you a glimpse of what our lives were like there, as well as to highlight some of the lessons I learned. I still don’t write publicly about how our time went there, but I’m comfortable with this week’s glimpse. I’ve kept the comments there too, to complete the picture. As I look back on these posts, I see how much deep, lasting growth happened in the pain. I’m so very thankful.

If you’d like to read more about France and how we managed to heal from our time there, sign up for my newsletter to receive the missing chapter of Thin Places, which has my thoughts on ministry in retrospect.

So if you’re going through it right now, stop a moment and anticipate the future. You will grow. You will be stronger. You will have more faith. Rest there.

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I walked the drippy, muddy route to school today, hood hanging over my head. I probably looked like a ringwraith, all black and sodden. As I neared the school’s wrought iron gate, I was overcome by an emotion. Loneliness.

Penetrating as the rain around me, I felt alone. Utterly. I spoke no words to others, although I scolded myself for not doing so. I’m a missionary, after all. Missionaries are supposed to carpe diem, seize the day. But, I held my tongue and worried that I’d never have the courage or ability to speak redemptive, friendship-oozing words in French. Perhaps someday.

But today, under the low clouds of Southern France, I felt alone. Maybe it’s because I process things verbally. Maybe it’s because my emerging friendships are in their embryonic stage. Maybe it’s because I have too many words and not enough ears to hear them. I never realized how much I needed to talk, and how lovely it is for another woman to listen to me.

Thankfully, my youngest two children ran out of the gate, smiling and eager to see me. They shared their precious words with me as we ran and rambled home. Just being near them made me smile, and their smiles pulled me a little further away from the loneliness.

I love Jesus for so many reasons. Today I love Him because he gave me the chatter of my children.

 

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