Hither by thy grace we've come . . . a hymn phrase which is excruciatingly true for our family. So many times we could have turned back, we were advised to turn back. So many times that a tragedy almost blasted us off course. Yet at the end of 17 years we are here on a furlough in the USA, with four fantastic kids, getting within spitting distance of fifty but pretty healthy and strong, and a whole world of other people in Africa whom we know and love and pull for. And to top it off, a child who is about to embark upon one of the finest educations this world has to offer, at a negligible cost to us. Which leaves me feeling that at any moment, we'll be found out. I think I felt that way when I went off to school too, as if those grades and scholarships were pushed my way by God for a purpose, and soon it would be clear that I was an impostor in the world of brilliant people.
So I imagine, in a crookedly illogical way, if our station in life now had been based on our merits (as I imagine others to be, our friends whom we visit with their jobs and houses and causes), then it would be somehow more assured. The skills that brought us to this place should, after all, keep us here. That if Luke had been tested in top-level American schools all along, we'd know he is about to be fine in college. In a time of transition and homelessness, I want to grasp onto that.
Instead we have grace, undeserved good things that are showered upon us. Which means that at any moment (as anyone who has read Job must know) it could all fall apart. Which is not very reassuring.
But here is where the wrestling touches the hip, and leaves a scarred triumphant limp. Would I rather rest the next decade (three more kids to get into university and paid for, and four to launch into life, new roles with WHM, a new country of service, new language, while maintaining ties and commitments in Uganda, dreams and projects and learning and science and relationships, maybe even a wedding by the end of the decade?) on who we are, or who God is? Grace feels nebulous and shifting and unreliable. But God is NOT.