In this process there is no clear road, no answers, and no one telling you how much longer until you get there. The past two weeks has been an amazing time of bonding, adventure, and family building for the Brannans. We've enjoyed being in Ethiopia together, and getting to know our son and his heritage. However, it is so difficult to part ways and not know how long it will be until we see each other again. Mark is my best friend, and frankly, he makes the whole trip a lot of fun for everyone. He leaves a trail of laughter wherever he goes. Mark's jokes and good humor even surpass cultural boundaries, as our new Ethiopian friends have gotten a kick out of him the past two weeks as well. When he leaves, I feel like my personality changes too. Together, he makes the jokes, and I laugh at them! (Every single one...over and over again...) It's a perfect match! But I'm afraid I'm a little more shy without Mark's witty one-liners and quick remarks.
Ultimately, I know that God is refining both of us. He always is. We're not really living, unless we are changing. Living things are meant to grow, renew, and change over time. Spiritually, we are dead if we are not allowing Christ to change us. Time away from people you love and depend on is a great way for God to remind you of His depth of love, His presence, and His surpassing greatness. His words and His work among us are so evident when all distractions cease, and we can see His face.
This is what I pray for during this time that Mark and I are apart. Like Moses, I do not want to go anywhere if the Lord's presence does not go with me. Like him, I ask, "Lord, now show me your glory..." (Exodus 33).