Italy this year looks different

I *almost* posted this Wednesday, but it was the first of April, and the common wisdom says that nothing posted on April Fools Day should be trusted as fact.

I wanted you to believe me when I tell you this.

After much prayer and thought, I have decided to remain state-side this year while my husband goes back to Milan in May.

To explain why, let me tell you the story.

Around November, as I was praying for my friends in Italy and for the coming mission trip, I felt a hesitancy that was as unexpected as it was strong. Why does this year feel different? I wondered.

 The following week, my beautiful younger sister got a sparkling rock on her left hand. A wedding was quickly set for June. Only a few short weeks later, my other sister and her husband welcomed a sweet baby girl to our family. In our close-knit clan, babies and weddings are all-hands-on-deck affairs–a chance to pour love through action and presence.

I was torn. On the one hand, I could not wait to see my friends in Milan. I longed to grieve with the church there over the recent death of one of the missionaries, to continue the conversations about life and Jesus with those I met in the last three years, and to feel the joy of serving alongside my husband in a place we’ve both come to love.

On the other hand was a growing desire to grasp these momentous moments with my sisters. But it felt almost selfish to consider choosing family over a mission trip.

There was not enough vacation for both.

However, as I prayed, I became convinced that loving my sisters and their families was this year’s mission. And, as I realized several years ago, even spiritual things like a mission trip overseas can be downright disobedient if the Lord is asking me to do something else.

So while it feels odd to reach March without a flurry of support-raising, I am filled with peace. When I get home and see the coffee cups from an Italy meeting cluttering the countertop by the sink, I smile, knowing that God has hand-picked these seven volunteers. It is a good team, and they will succeed.

And that’s not all.

God has been dropping ideas into the now-peaceful pool of my heart. Each one sends excited ripples to the very edges of me until I can hardly sit still! I may be here, an ocean away from the team for two weeks, but those two weeks have a purpose. The purpose is slowly forming into a plan, but that will have to wait until the next post. 🙂

Stay tuned! 

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