When I was younger I asked my parents if I could paint a sky on the ceiling of my bedroom being the dreamer that I am. The incredible, supportive and creative parents that they are agreed and made this vision a reality. I remember being so excited to paint that ceiling and asking my mom if I could contribute. As she trustfully handed over the paint and brushes over to me, I began to paint my own cloud. Unknowingly, I had mixed the white and grey paint and managed to permanently place a rain cloud over my bed. It is there today.
If I had to describe the last few weeks in South Africa, I could simplify it to saying it has been very cloudy season. I truly can not say that I believe that we are supposed to learn something from these trials. However, I do believe that we are supposed to unlearn things of the world and reignite our childlike faith. I think God uses these seasons to strip everything away until it’s just Him and us. Nobody else has the answers to our questions. Nobody else can heal the wounds. Nobody else can deliver miracles. So, in the midst of trials, who better to spend our time with than The One who deserves all praise?
I cannot declare that my childlike faith has been completely reignited as these are some of the toughest trials I have ever been in the midst of, but I can attest to the power of prayer and healing that He has been doing in the people around me and in my own heart.
I can also say that from these clouds, I have been given subtle glimpses of sunshine. I have gained a greater understanding of the significance of friendship and family. Though there are days that I just want to get on the next flight home and be with my family, I can attest to God’s faithfulness in sending me phenomenal people that have loved and supported me as if I were their own sister or daughter.
I have had a Swiss intern bring chocolate to my doorstep and prepare dinner for me on the days that aren’t so sweet. I have had some of the most challenging spiritual conversations and sister like experiences with my friend Rufaro. I have had my friends Chane and Chris take me to one of the only Mexican restaurants in South Africa and to a vinyl fair to make me feel a bit closer to Nashville. I have had plenty of phenomenal meals and times of prayer with Auntie Sandra and Uncle Cyril. The friendships and families supporting me through these trials have been such a real reflection of God’s heart.
As I meditate on the clouds painted on my ceiling as a child, I realize that there is but one rain cloud amidst many clouds from sunny days. Though I may be walking through a season of thunderstorm clouds, I am also amongst some of the sunniest days of my life.
I wanted to say thank you to my family for being patient and walking through these trials with me. They have been a significant source of peace and support in the midst of chaos. I want to thank every person who has prayed for me, sent an encouraging word, stopped by base to visit me, or has been a part of my South African family. You keep me strong.
I request that you pray for Peter Pretorius, JAM’s CEO as he is still in critical condition recovering from a triple bypass surgery.
I request that you continue to pray for the team here at JAM as we continue to do the Lord’s work and are faced with challenges everyday.
I request that you pray for my family as we mourn the loss of my grandpa Fisher.
Thank you for your faithful friendship,