When we moved into our current home in 2014, we declared Micah’s room ‘the icebox.’ Our winter move-in date accentuated this frigid fact. Micah’s bedroom was the coldest in the house. Typical of most South African homes, this house has no central heating. With Micah’s room situated on the north side, its outer walls remained in the shade throughout the day. Thus, when our family enters the ice box in winter time, we brace ourselves for blasts of cold, cold, cold air.
So, it’s no wonder that when Micah moved to Australia last month – in the heart of our South Africa winter – I hadn’t ventured into his room very much. I’ve washed his bedding. I’ve vacuumed his bedroom floor. I’ve set a few things I’ve discovered throughout the house that are Micah’s back into his room. I’ve looked for something he borrowed and hadn’t returned. However, in the thirty-one days since his departure, I’ve stepped inside his room perhaps less than a dozen times – and that’s a big change from when Micah was home. As you can imagine, I’m no fan of Siberia-like temperatures. With this South African winter being much colder than usual, I’ve sidestepped Micah’s room quite a bit.
Today, though, I entered his room for a few different reasons. First, I decided to make his bed. After washing all of his bedding last month, I hadn’t done this chore yet. It’s done now.
Second, John and I pulled down a bunch of luggage from Micah’s closet. As many of you know, Caleb, Jake and I are making a short trip to the States to provide love, support, and daily encouragement to my parents who are broaching a sea of change and transition. Overseas travel is a huge undertaking – regardless of the amount of travel stay. Even though our trip to the States is over a month away, we start the preparation process early. And, as many of you are aware, if I am required to make a quick trip to the South Africa Consulate in Los Angeles for my ongoing permit issues, there will be even more tasks to accomplish to make that trip a reality. Thus, having our packing duties taken care of – earlier than later – is prudent.
Third, I entered Micah’s room to remind myself that my son is really and truly far, far far away. It’s been just a month since he flew Down Under, but it seems sooooo much longer when I consider his absence. Micah’s bedroom is the coldest in the house, but without him, it’s even more barren and stark. Micah breathed warmth, joy, laughter, and life into that space. Now his bedroom is just a cold, empty quarter. It’s just so strange.
Overall, though, our family is doing well since Micah departed for his one-year discipleship experience with Pais Australia. And just as important to us, it appears that Micah is doing quite well, too.
Facetime calls, Whatsapp messages, Facebook posts and pictures, and emails have helped us see how well he is thriving. Viewing a bit of his life and hearing about some of his day-to-day happenings encourages us – a lot. I am forever grateful to live at this period of time where electronic communication is widely used. It’s soooooooo much better than when we moved to South Africa in 2006. I’m grateful for that.
We miss our Micah Man, there is no doubt. However, as each day has passed, we are more and more certain that we are all where our Lord most desires for us to be. We continue to find strength, joy, and comfort in our God and His care for these days of change and transition.
Someone once said:
The Lord can.
And I can through Him.
Centered upon these Scriptural truths:
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
New International Version, Philippians 4: 12-13
So, said another way in relation to our current life circumstance:
I know what it is like to have Micah away – and I know what is like to have him near. I am learning the secret of being content in our new and different family life situation – whether Micah is in Australia or with us in his South Africa ice box – we can do all this through Jesus Christ who gives our family strength.
I honestly believe that it is the Lord’s love, the Lord’s care and compassion, and the Lord’s strength that have sustained us this first month since Micah embarked on his amazing, life-impacting adventure in Australia.
And He’ll keep doing it for us. I’m sure of that.
Adding a bit of ourselves to another of the Lord’s great promises, I declare
I will strengthen John, Heather, Micah, Jake and Caleb in the Lord and in His Name they will walk.
New International Version, Zechariah 10:12
And we are – one month and a day – into this new and very different life as a family.