Where Would You Like To Go?

December 3, 2011

Still Learning

So, I guess I could have just told you why we didn't go out to the bush as planned but I decided to let you in on what was/is going on in my heart too.  My hope is that this may serve as an ever present reminder of how desperately we need you to be lifting us in prayer :)

Like I mentioned in my previous post, I've dreamt/thought/desired/wished/prayed/etc for this trip to happen for SO long.  2 days later, I'm still tearing up when I think about that we didn't make it out there.  That drive back to Tulear on Tuesday was one filled with extremely conflicting emotions. 

There are days since arriving here that are harder than others.  We know we are called to be right here but we do miss our family.  We miss things that we never knew we would miss, items that made life easier.  But, in many ways we were prepared for that part - we expected it.  We handle it through His strength. 

The thing that caught me most off guard Tuesday was what seemed like a conflict of interest.  The Lord has clearly called me to be a mom and He has just as clearly called me to work with the Mahafaly people.  An unreached people group that live in isolated & not easily accessible areas.  The village we were traveling to is the closest one to Tulear.  We made it halfway.  Halfway.  Perhaps, we shouldn't have even gone that far - maybe I'm a horrible mom for asking my baby girl to endure it that far.  I don't know.

How can I be called to work among this people & tell them of His love if I can't even make it out there with my daughter whom I'm also called to work with and tell of His love?  It was a tough day.  My heart knew all the right answers.  My heart was resounding and overflowing with Scripture that He has written there..."I know the plans I have for you"..."He will give him perfect peace, who trusts in the Lord"..."He will give you the desires of your heart"..."Be strong and courageous, do not fear"...and on and on.  However, my heart was having a very difficult time communicating with my head (and my eyes which were pouring buckets of water).  I wish I could tell you now that everything is okay and that it is all resolved - but it's not.  I don't know the answers to all of the questions that ran through my head on Tuesday, but I know the One who does. 

One thing that never crossed my mind was coming home...I'm confident that He will see all things to completion that He has started.  I don't question His soverignity, even when I can't see the big picture. 

I also don't question the importance of your prayers - thank you for being faithful.

 If I knew all the answers, there wouldn't be any need for faith. 
If it wasn't difficult, then pride would take over and I would think I could do it in my own power. 
If there wasn't a way, He would not have designed it. 
Thankful that I serve a God who looks at me with all of my sin, questions, doubts, & fears - and still sees one who is able to be used for His glory.  Praise the Lord.


  1. Hi Nickolee... I'm sure that was (and is) very tough for you. What you posted about the conflicting thoughts and emotions is very true! Especially at this time in your adjustment to Madagascar (from the US, no less!), it's a stage where things really start to get hard. The glamour of living in a new place and experiencing new things is mostly over and you're very well aware of some strong physical differences (accessibility and availability of things you're used to that mean a lot to you) between here and your home in the US. And you're daily becoming more aware of differences in simple customary things needed just to live your daily life here. So things are rough! Doubt sets in, endurance drops, sickness happens, and you're no less required to make important (and difficult) decisions despite all that! But if it's any consolation at all, it happens to nearly everybody at this point: around 4-8 months in is one of the biggest low points (though there are still plenty of high points occasionally) in the process of cross-cultural / international adjustment. Not everyone experiences the stress and difficulty the same way, but pretty much everyone experiences it.

    The good news: It gets better! Much better! Give it time. If you don't give up, you have to anyway. And with time, you'll adapt more and more and become more and more comfortable here, even sub-consciously, without even having to work too hard at it. You'll learn to reconcile seeming incompatibilities: your desire and call to work with Mahafaly people in difficult locations and your desire and call to be the best mom you can be to Ryleigh. I'm sure that right now it's hard to see how the two can work together. But I'm just as sure that in time you'll see it clearly and understand very well. God works on us slowly, but as you're well aware, he accomplishes his work.

    This time in your adjustment to Madagascar might've just really been a very inopportune time to try something like that. It might've been better right at the beginning when the glamour was still high and everything was new anyway! Or 4-6 months from now when you might actually be ready for a new and harder challenge, and have a better idea of just how strong and adaptable your little girl is. But no worries - as you said and as we both know, God's not finished yet, and he still has a long (and even bumpy) road ahead of you. So better to just buckle in and go along for the ride. We know the driver and he's good! He'll get you there!

  2. I know how discouraging it must be to have something you desire within sight but still can't get your hands on. I feel like God may be just confirming that your desire is within reach, just not yet. Maybe it would be just too overwhelming right now with Ryleigh being so young - maybe He just wants to show you, your dream and desire is still there and you WILL make it!! He let you see just a little bit....giving it to you in small doses so maybe it won't be quite so overwhelming when you do actually make it there - and you will! And have no doubt - you are a GREAT mom!! We are not there with you, but just reading your posts and your blogs, your love for being a mom is so evident and I think this is one lucky little girl! Hang in there girl - your dreams are all going to come through - as you know, God would not bring you all this way and then let you down! : ) We are human and we want things when WE want them - He knows the BEST time to get you there and when that time comes you will look back and be so glad you waited on His timing! Have a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year!!

  3. Nickolee - thank you so much for sharing your heart on this! Tough questions . . . ones I definitely don't have answers to! But you are an absolutely amazing mom, and your heart for the Mahafaly inspires me everytime I hear you speak. He will absolutely bring to completion what He has begun in your heart and your family. Love you! Can't wait for you to get down here for good - stay strong!!!


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