Wednesday, October 4, 2017

What A Difference A Year Makes

This morning, I dropped Lifa off with an educational psychologist for a 4-hour assessment. He understood that the psychologist’s job was to give his parents and teachers tools to help him be his best in school, and there was a good chance he would get to draw. She has a giant desk like Dad’s, and he would have 4-hours of uninterrupted adult attention. Game on. 

I never would have dreamt up this scenario one year ago. Last year, I was trying my best to help overwhelmed teachers in the crowded, rural school Lifa was allowed to sit in, undocumented.

What a difference a year makes.
We have had a year of amazing miracles. 

Being granted legal guardianship of a child who “does not exist” on any piece of paper is at least as incredible as an ocean opening. 

Being given a place in a school system in a nation that will not claim you is at least as astounding as the Jordan River opening to grant access to the Promised Land. 

In the wake of that miracle, Lifa has met the giants of identity confusion, academic overwhelmedness, racial and spiritual persecution, fearfulness, loneliness, insecurity, and even that super emotional day when we had to explain to him that he no longer has the body type to fit into skinny jeans. (Proud to say we have fully jumped on the jogger train now. The boy can rock them.) 

In the midst of hard moments, we remember that even after that sea opened, there was still a wilderness to traverse. After the Jordan parted, there were still giants occupying the Promised Land. God was sovereignly there whole time.

School has been our giant this year.

One year ago, there was literally no way for Lifa to continue in his education. He could not enter into the next phase of learning without registration. One year ago, I would have longed for these hardships. When I think about that, they suddenly feel like giant hardship hugs instead of terrifying giants. 

What a difference a year makes. 

One year ago today, this classy Ladd couple took this photo: 

We were celebrating finding the famously technical Contour Path on Table Mountain during our scouting trip to Cape Town. Chris’ dream to re-enter trail running was still just a dream, and we had no idea what we would face as a family on the road ahead of us.

It took us many attempts to find the contour path. We still call this spot on the mountain “The place Mom almost died.” It was the peak of glory to find it on that trip, and it very literally took my breath away.

This morning after I dropped Lifa off for his assessment, I power-hiked up to the contour path, sent my handsome husband a lovey message while I took a few deep breaths, and then ran a 5k across and down the mountain.

Chris is now training for a 100km race in December, has run several marathons on the mountain, knows the trails like the back of his hand, and casually runs to the top of the mountain on a weekday. 

What a difference a year makes. 

Last year’s peak of glory was this morning’s starting place.

We were made to go glory to glory and strength to strength. All we have to do is keep going back to that mountain. 

There will always be giants in the Promised Land. The higher you get on the mountain, the smaller they look.

I hope you stand on this morning’s starting place with the faith to remember the miracles. I pray that you take a minute today to look at the very largest, hairiest, scariest giants and call them what they are: Next year’s starting place.

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