Today I fulfilled something I've wanted to do for a long time: I took my family to the Zoo. I love animals, Breanne, not so much, but I was happy to share my love for animals with my daughter Eden. Now, Eden is a bit too young to enjoy the full zoo experience, she is only 13 months old, but she did enjoy waving at the monkeys, cheetahs, and the penguins (my favorite).
It was nice to have a seemingly normal day as a family. The last week has been extremely difficult for us since we have found out we had a miscarriage. My wife and I have been brought to our knees, we've morned, and we've cried. It has also forced us to stop and look at what we are doing, what God has called us to do, and where we are headed.
Breanne and I decided to name our baby Niah, which means purpose. We joked at the first ultrasound that she was hiding, and we'd probably end up naming her something that meant "hidden one". As we looked in the Bible, there was a minor prophet name Zephaniah, which means hidden one. So we named our baby Niah to mean "hidden one with purpose".
We are completely devastated by the death of our unborn child, but we are refusing to let her death not serve a purpose for our family. We've pushed into God, asking this death to break us down to our bones and for Jesus to sustain and fill us up. We have turned to worshiping Jesus, not knowing why our baby died, but knowing God is greater than even death and that this death can and will serve a purpose.
We recently dismissed the idea of a sabbatical from Cambodia, but now we've heard clearly from God that it is time for a break. Time for rest and restoration. We want to be intentional about our time of rest and we know that we need to make sure we get the support we need. Our plan is to visit a missionary retreat center, to get the healing and support we need.
I've been interested in bible school for awhile, as it has been prophesied a few times now over me that I will be a pastor. This time seems like a good chance to review and see what is available to me and Breanne.
God has told us to give up everything, including Cambodia to Him. We pray that we will return, but we want to be firmly in the center of God's Will and will go wherever He takes us. As we look to our sabbatical we are trying hard not to set an end date. We want to leave that up to God to determine and make it clear to us. We are not in charge here, we don't control the plan's of God and we need to yield to Him.
So for right now, we are looking at a possible return to the US in September. We are not sure when or if we will be back, but we are determined to stay focused on the calling He has placed on our lives: to go and love people because He loves us. It's why we named this site Go for Love, it's why we went to Mexico, it's why we came to Cambodia, and it's why we will continue to praise him in the painful seasons.