Our Best Days

Nick reminded us last Sunday that our best days are yet to come.  I needed that reminder.  I don't always think that way.  I want to.  But it is so easy to get sucked into thinking that our days in Africa were the best times of our lives.  And they were great!  Kenya and South Africa was where Tom and I started and raised our young family.  The roots of our marriage go deep into the heart of Africa.  The chance to help plant and grow a young church from 20 to 500 members in Nairobi was exhilarating!   Living hand to mouth for almost a year was faith and character building!  Learning new cultures and customs was inspiring and thought-provoking! 

We left under duress.  I think that has colored a lot of my thinking over the past  10 years.  It wasn't my plan.  It ended my dream.  It changed our family schedule and dynamics.  It felt uncomfortable and sad.  And, I am ashamed to admit, it made me pull back in some ways from God and his mission.  I love the church in Northern Virginia, but I don't particularly like living in Northern Virginia.  So I haven't given this place my heart completely.  And I haven't had the same zeal for God's mission that I had in Nairobi and Johannesburg, and in New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia before that.  That was wrong.

I think God has been stirring my heart for a while now.  Trying to soften me.  Trying to challenge and convict me.  Trying to encourage me.  I've tried to change.  Tried to think differently.  I've had some victories. But I've been stuck.  Stuck in the day to day demands of having a business and a household to take care of.  Stuck in trying to maneuver the path of becoming an empty nester and figuring out how to parent adult children. Stuck in fears of thinking I've "lost it" and will never be as effective as I once was in sharing my faith.

Today I feel inspired again.  Inspired to dream.  Inspired to give my heart completely.  Inspired to believe that Tom and I will someday (hopefully soon) get back to Africa for a visit.  But more than that, inspired to trust and believe that God is using us now and will continue to use our lives wherever He plants us on this earth.  And as much as I love Africa, I have to admit that I hope He plans to send us some new places as well as to the old.  I want to end up like Caleb.  Healthy and ready to take over new lands at the age of 85!  With a lot of victorious memories between now and then.  (After all, I have 34 years to go before I am 85!)

So, thanks, Nick, for your message last Sunday.  Thanks for stirring my heart.  And thanks, Kati, for loving your homeland and spending your savings to travel back to South Africa.  Thanks for cherishing all the memories (old and new) you have built and are building.   Thank you both for having big dreams for serving your God.  Thank you both for calling us higher and reminding us that our best days truly are ahead of us!

Lori ZieglerComment