Hip Hip awaay – yes it is almost time and the hip is ready to go – as is Rose!!!
Elation as I am just over 24 hours from returning to Italy and the place the Lord has given us there. Sadnes as I know that to followthis call it means leaving behind all tha.t is familiar and precius to me. Not that I a devotee of Sir Walter Scott (too tartanny for me really:) ) but that this vista symbolises something about what I leave behind each time I return to Italy. Of course the upside is that when I arrive in Italy my spirit is lifted when I see the wonder of God‘s creation all around me in the Valley.
As I reflect on the last 4months when we have been sojourning here in our own home and in our own fellowship as Rose dealt with the major trauma of a full replacement hip – I can see the hand of God the Father as we have tried to remain in His hands in all this time – although not always successfully :(. His provision economically as we were challenged in how we could possibly manage to pay for the expenses of living in our own home in Edinburgh while also maintaining the not insubstantial costs of our rented accommodation back in Italy. We watched with awe as He wove a wonderful tapestry of blessing which covered all of these issues and also blessed us and others as our flat became a base for another mission couple for a substantial part of that time. So they had a home to stay in (rather then a hostel or centre) and we had the joy of knowing that ourflat was occupied and being a blessing for others at the same time.
The joys and satisfaction of being able to spend time with those who know nd love us here in Edinburgh and who sent us off to Italy with their blessing and support, the blessing of getting to know the many who have become part of our home fellowship since we have left and who ‘know’ us only from the pictures they see of us and the newsletters they often read. What a pleasure to get to know more of our family!!
Above all though, we have seen God’s hand in His healing and care for Rosie as she has undergone a major op along with some unexpected complications, and yet her recovery and mobility have been on steam and she now has a high level of mobility and we know that this speedy recovery is a blessing from the Great Physician.
What joy it is to come and worship the Lord in the company of those who know and love you and to be able to express love for Him spontaneously in our mother tongue. (well almost – I still need a translator if I speak Glaswegian in Edinburgh 🙂 ). To be able to participate fully in small group discussion as we met in homes around the city and to be blessed by so many who showered us with hospitality and love.
These things are truly encouragements and joys which we will take back with us as we return.
Now this is not to say that our time here has been all joys and blessings and nothing else! Indeed there have been low moments when the enemy cut at us in our relationship – as He does in all God given marriages and families. He would like nothing more than to bring us to separation and thereby discredit our witness before the world of the difference that the Lord makes when He is in a marriage. We have had these moments but we are praising God as He has carried us through these moments when we could not even stand. He is always with us and never abandons us even in the moments we think He has gone. In these moments I have discovered how much I need to turn to Him and seek Him to rescue me from my own pride and stubbornness. Lovingly He restores us after we turn and seek Him. He has been teaching me in this time and I am praying that what He has taught me I can with the Holy Spirit put into practice.
Hip hip hooooooooray 🙂