Day 3.

 “
The Lord is trustworthy in all that He says, faithful in all that He does” – Psalms 145:13b

As a collaborative effort with The Nester, I dedicate Day 3 of this 31 Days of Faith series to the most consistent reason I clung to faith last year as I traveled through 16 different countries over the course of 11 months, on mission to love the world as God loves them:
…because I knew they were waiting for me with baited breath, on this side of the world. USA. 
This post is a very much REAL LIFE, even blurred, vision of what “coming home” looked like after this long year of testing the validity of God’s faithfulness that THIS moment, this reunion, indeed would happen. That it was not an illusion to be missed because “on mission” meant sacrificing “home” forever but a reality in the as yet unseen… to be hoped for. Do you get the simple, yet VERY practical, example of God’s faithfulness in this story? Sometimes it’s easy to think that when God calls us to something bigger than ourselves, that all of our faith acts will involve the day to day practice in accomplishing His current goal for us… a romanticised view of the term “Missionary.” However, as a normal human being (Or as normal as they come, ha!), I can attest to the fact that the most consistent choice of belief I made throughout each visited culture, was that Papa WOULD secure my return to the States as promised 11 months prior.
So Day 3 looks like faith in the form of long awaited hugs, kisses, tears of joy, and the toughness of trials faced alone, broken down in the arms of family waiting.
And there they were, waiting as promised…
(5 out of the 9 waiting on me to arrive had only been told I was coming 5 minutes before this photo was snapped! The surprise of a lifetime!)

(Wouldn’t have missed seeing this woman graduate from Nursing school for the world… literally.)

(Dated 3 months and I left for almost a year… what can I say, God was at the center and He doused us with faith!)

(She started driving while I was gone, played volleyball as a Junior, gained so much wisdom and passion… I missed my roommate so much!)
(Jodi and I were discussing the fact that I was close enough to touch and it felt a little unreal! Jaami and I schemed to make sure I hugged her neck and met my nephew, Joaquin, before they moved to Colombia! PRECIOUS BOY!)

                        

(Tori was the woman with the plan and helped me every step of the way home. She also was the photographer for all of these fun pics! I was home… and it felt so good!)
(Celebrating our one year with coats, dresses and heels, and of course prom style pictures… what?)
(Maw maw. You just never know. So thankful I didn’t have to. She was so bright eyed! Missed our family matriarch!) 

(The Clement 5… and our hero… the week of my surprise return)


(Papa blessed us both by allowing me to have returned the day before Sheldon proclaimed his life in Christ in this blessed way!) 

(So thankful for family and loved ones so dear… my niece Nila (SO TALL NOW!), Jodi’s fella’ Chris (Finally got to meet him!), Aunt Linda (Missed her humor so much!), and my bro in-law Justin (Hadn’t seen this Naval pilot in almost 2 years!) are the others in this pic, not in the ones above. I love these people.)

 

(So happy to know that all of God’s promises, like Him, are faithful)
As we press on into this month’s series about faith, I just want to always be real with you. Today, is a post about something genuine but not that shocking. Tomorrow very well could be about something that no one else knows but me. The only reason differing thoughts/stories will be posted for all to see each day, will be God’s leading to do so. In my “writer’s mind” I want beautiful, heart-wrenching stories every day about things no one saw coming but real life is more relatable, whatever that is day to day. Faith is for everyone, so is this blog. Come back for Day 4 tomorrow because you just never know what Papa will decide to let my fingers type!
beLOVED.,
Lauren!<><+
(So what can you tell me about the faith that makes you wait… the promises that are waiting for you… and the way it FEELS in the moments when faithful belief in God’s plans are fulfilled? Comment below!