Sometimes life feels like a balancing act. Or like the scene from the musical, “Fiddler on the Roof,” where Tevye keeps thinking about “…on the other hand.” Here are a few of things happening in my life, as well as their “…on the other hand” counterparts.
On the one hand, I’m really excited to be heading back to West Africa for a month between Easter and Memorial Day for a People Group Assessment (PGA) trip and to see leadership and other missionaries there. And I even get to finish it out with a few days in France – 2 days of vacation, and 2 days of a linguistics conference!
On the other hand, it will be weird to be so close to Burkina Faso and not be able to go “home” to that home.
On the one hand, I’m excited that while I’m in West Africa, I’ll be able to pick up a few of my things from Burkina Faso, since someone will be able to bring them to Senegal for me.
On the other hand, I was thinking that I may be able to send some fun little surprises back to some friends in Burkina Faso, but it’s sad that it doesn’t look like it’s going to be possible at this time.
On the one hand, it’s so nice to be in the US and spend time with my family and friends here. It’s even starting to warm up here in Wisconsin, and we are able to start coming out of “hibernation!”
On the other hand, I miss my friends and “family” in Burkina Faso.
On the one hand, I feel like I’ve been making progress on some of the projects I’ve been working on: I taught the 3-week class at Ethnos360’s Bible school, I translated over 50 pages of PGA reports from French to English, plans are starting to come together for this upcoming trip, etc.
On the other hand, there are always more projects to do. My next big project is working on a discourse analysis write up of the Jula language, better preparing me to be able to help other people with their languages.
On the one hand, it’s exciting to watch God continue to direct my steps. For example, He worked out the details for this upcoming trip to Senegal, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, and France! For about a week at the end of February, things were changing multiple times a day, and then when everything worked, it didn’t change anymore. There’s now actually something in my life that looks planned! It’s also very clear that I should continue my studies this summer, since if I take 2 more months of classes, I’ll be almost finished with my master’s degree except for my thesis (which will hopefully be about Jula discourse analysis, too – two birds with one stone!). I wasn’t planning on getting my master’s at the moment, but it seems to be God’s plan. If I didn’t attend school this June and July, instead of taking 2 months to finish my coursework it would take two full semesters. Ok, God, I get the picture, and am planning on going!
On the other hand, sometimes it’s still hard to be living in the unknown and not know where I’m headed. I know that none of us knows the future, but we often like to think we do. Last month I got to talk with members of different leadership boards of Ethnos360 and it was nice to get to actually meet some of them, but there are still no answers about returning to Burkina Faso. Still waiting, and waiting can still be hard.
Well, there you have it. On one hand, God is good. But on the other hand, life can still be hard. But on the other hand, it gives us opportunities to trust Him more. But on the other hand, growth sometimes hurts. But on the other hand, it’s when it hurts that you can experience His peace that passes understanding.
Thanks for your continued prayers for me, for My People, and for the country of Burkina Faso!