I was looking out my window this morning during devotions thinking about all the amazing people I've met on my journey of life.
I've had the privilege of working alongside, learning from, and sharing life with so many incredible individuals. My cup runs over with love and memories I've acquired over a lifetime of friendships formed.
To my family and friends where my life began in Utah, I love you and miss you more than you could ever know. To my other relatives living in Oregon, Colorado, and Idaho, I wish we could see each other more often and I miss you dearly.
To my parents in Missouri and my brother and future sister-in-law in Nebraska, my heart longs to share life with you and I miss you deeply.
To my husband's amazing family members in Wisconsin, Alaska, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon, California, and Pennsylvania, I wish we could share life together and I miss you.
To my friends, teachers, pastors, and mentors I met at church and school growing up in Nebraska, I remember you often and miss you.
To the friends I met serving overseas on short term missions trips in New York City, Mexico, England, Ireland, Costa Rica, Ghana, Togo, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, and the Dominican Republic, my heart skips a beat recollecting the power of God displayed before us in our travels together and I miss you.
To my Bible College classmates and teachers, to my pastors and church family there, to my co-workers all from Minneapolis, I still think of you and miss you.
To the friends, church members, and staff members we served with at our first pastoral position in Wisconsin, I smile when I remember all our memories shared together and I miss you.
To all the friends and amazing workers we served alongside with overseas in Central Asia, tears come to my eyes when I recollect all the miracles and life-changing moments we experienced together and I miss you.
To our church family and friends we have met and grown close to here in Northern Wisconsin, I feel honored to grow together and serve our community with love and passion for Jesus. To the women who have walked alongside me and encouraged me in my homeschool groups here, I start crying when I try to come up with words to express how much you have impacted my life.
To the foster children we cared for in our home when I was growing up, not a day goes by that I don't think of you. I have prayed and cried and begged God to keep you safe. I never got to see you grow up. I don't know where you are now. I will never forget holding your hand, walking you to Sunday School, swinging you at the park, changing your diapers, and kissing your cheek at night. I miss you and I love you.
To the children at the orphanages around the world that I visited, my heart broke and shattered into a million pieces the moment I held you. To the little orphan in Cambodia who begged me to take him home with me to America to be his mother, my bleeding heart has never healed. I wish I could adopt you all and cuddle you up and sing you to sleep every night. Watching you, day after day, seeing your precious face and thankful heart for that cup of rice, seeing your eyes light up when we came to teach you English songs, knowing full well that I would most likely catch lice from you and didn't care... you have ruined me for life. I will never be the same. You are my spiritual children and I will never cease praying for you until the day I die. I am confident you will be seated right next to Jesus in heaven and receive the royal treatment you've always deserved.
To my husband and my children, next to Jesus you are everything to me. I know that wherever life brings us, as long as we are together, that is all that matters. From the darkest cave to the brightest mountaintop, we are a team. Together. Always.
So as you can see, there are scattered pieces of my heart all around the world. Tears well up in my eyes every time I spin the globe in our homeschool room teaching my children about geography. I have loved and I have had to say goodbye. But I strongly believe that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. All of you wonderful people, whether I met you 20 years ago or last month, you have played a special part in my life. Please don't ever think I have forgotten you, even if we only met for a brief time. I have a special place in my heart for you. I always will.
Heaven is going to be AWESOME. Not only will I be face to face with my Savior and Best Friend Jesus Christ, but I will get to spend eternity with all the people I so dearly love. *Sigh* This earth is not my true home. I am a child of the Most High God and His Kingdom is not of this world. I look forward to the day when there are no more goodbyes. No more tears. No more sorrow. Just joy.
I'll leave you with a sweet picture of my little munchkins dancing to VeggieTales worship music while I started to type this post ;) And yes, I realize Peter's pants are on backwards. He put them on himself after going potty. You'd think there would be a 50/50 chance he'd get his pants on the right way every time, but for some reason they are ALWAYS backwards. This precious little boy always gives us a laugh ;)