A few weeks ago my husband and I drove onto the Mercy Ships campus in East Texas for a week of training. After arriving in DFW, hitting up Torchy’s for queso and the obligatory stop at Buc-ee’s, we arrived at the ISC (International Support Center) of Mercy Ships after dark and suddenly we both started crying. Not exactly the reaction we expected! But there we were, in our strange smelling rental car, crying for reasons we didn’t fully comprehend.
“How has it been 2 years since we’ve been here?” we asked each other. Two years ago our family arrived in East Texas totally exhausted from wrapping up our lives in California in a quick few months, and completely exhilarated over the adventure we were about to embark upon. Two years ago, the hard was swallowed up by the potential and endless possibilities. I guess driving onto that campus brought back memories of the excitement of our naïve arrival there for onboarding, and the reality that the calling we worked so hard for, that demanded a sacrifice greater than we had anticipated, had been taken away from us prematurely and left us reeling.
But there was another facet to our tears in the white Hyundai that Sunday night. There were tears of overwhelming gratitude and amazement. That our great God once again took ashes of this past year and exchanged them for beauty. He redeemed this past year of waiting and anxiety and grief by letting us carry out our calling to serve with Mercy Ships, now in a different capacity. We were returning to campus to meet the US Marketing Team and train with them as we are now a part of them! We never expected that we’d continue our service with Mercy Ships after we left the ship, but we are so grateful that we get to remain connected to this incredible mission.
We’re coming upon 1 year since we left the ship in the midst of the pandemic. This past year has taken us through emotions that I’ve never experienced and my faith has been tested in more ways than one. I’ve felt lost, without an anchor and many times totally disconnected from people and God. Although we still are without a home to call our own and our discouragement in that area is mounting quickly, I must receive this beautiful gift of a job with Mercy Ships as evidence that my God is still working on our behalf and He is working all things out for my good and His glory.