"The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you;
He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid: do not be discouraged."
This is a post that has been a long time in coming. A post that is very hard and bittersweet for me to write. A post that is filled be with joy and anticipation as well as tears and sadness.
After much prayer and seeking guidance, I have reached the decision to leave China this summer. This is something I have been praying about ever since I moved to China two years ago. I prayed that the Lord would make it clear when my time in China was done and that I would be obedient to that call. I came to China with an open heart and a willingness to stay here as long as the Lord wanted me here. He has given me such clarity and peace that my time in China is coming to an end for this season.
Just because I am leaving China, doesn't meant this is the end. No, I strongly believe it is the opposite and is just the beginning. The beginning of something much greater. That the Lord is going to use my time in China for something else. Something that I can't even imagine. And even though I know this is the right decision, it doesn't mean it's easy. As excited as I am for the next chapter in my life, I'm really sad to close this one. In the last two years, the Lord has taught me so much about His love for me and for these sweet children. I have truly seen the heart of the Father.
"What's next?" is the question I am asked quite often lately. In all honesty, I don't know. I know what my dreams and passions are and I have some thoughts and ideas on how I may use those to further His kingdom. The Lord has placed these things on my heart and I fully believe He will use them to make His name known. Just how and where they will be used, I don't know yet!
Me leaving China is very bittersweet. Don't be mistaken, I love, love, love what I do. These children have taught me so much and I am dreading leaving them. That's the thing about orphan care, there will always be those you leave behind. And believe me, that makes my heart ache just thinking about it. But I also know that the time is right.
The Lord has been preparing the way for me. Both in the United States as well as here in China. He has provided people to come partner with us and who will able to replace me when I leave. And for that, I am truly thankful.
Yes, it's sad but also exciting. When 2014 began, I couldn't help but be filled with excitement. This is going to be a good year. He is always faithful and always good.
So for now I am soaking up each and every moment I can with these precious sweeties.
The way may be rocky and frustrating at times, but I know the One who goes before me in ALL things. The One who is always, always faithful.
"I will go before you and will level the mountains;
I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.
I will give you the treasures of darkness,
riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel,
who summons you by name."