This past month we have been busy packing suitcases, spending time with family and friends and trying to get everything organized for our departure. We still have no idea how to really pack for one year, for eight people. Todd and I never dreamed as we said, “I do”, that in our future would be six kids, to through adoption, moving many times throughout the state, youth ministry, women’s bible studies, a local house church, a church plant and then Africa. Each time we have moved, started something new or left something behind, we were moving towards this moment. Every step helped prepare us for this journey. We’ve learned so much along the way but still have so much to learn.
We have learned that life can be changed in a moment. Jen was diagnosed with a tumor, almost two years ago now. We sat with the kids to explain that mom may have cancer, wrenching our hearts like never before. It reminded us what was truly important and we committed to try to make the most of every moment.
Life has been good but challenging as we care for boys who’s lives where shattered by no fault of their own. We have been taught, and continue to be taught patience, grace and what it means to truly lay your life down for someone else. We have grown in the understanding of what it is to give of yourself when you feel like you have nothing left to give and we try celebrate little things that can so easily be overlooked, but at other times we are so nit picking that we cannot seem to enjoy anything. We laugh together, we cry together, we rejoice and we pray together.
In our journey we have said goodbye to many friends as we have moved and have greeted new ones as we have restarted, always taking with us the memories of the times we have shared. We have been near to family and other times not so close. We know what it is to miss those you love and we have known the joy of being close, able to spend time with them and yet we realize now how much you take for granted.
We now take all these life moments and lessons learned with us as we ready to leave for Africa. We are not a special family, professionally trained, completely functional and always together. We have ups and downs, good moments and challenging ones. We love each other more than life and are determined to always be there for one another. We challenge our kids to dream God sized dreams, to not settle for an ordinary life when God wants to give them an extraordinary life, to dare to go to distant places and do crazy things. To let God dream great things for them.
We are so excited to see what is ahead for our family. Every place God has ever taken us has been extraordinary. We have learned great things and grown in great ways. We know that this journey will be no different. We are having to leave everything behind that is familiar, all our family and friends and most of our belongings. That part is harder than we dreamed it would be. We cannot put into words our sadness as we leave those we love. Yet, we are going with open hearts, to lay down our hopes and dreams and to ask God, “What are your hopes and dreams for us?” We want to see why He has asked us to go, to see what He wants to teach us, what he wants to show us. We don’t want to miss a thing. It is hard to leave everything we know but He knows what that is like. This time of year we are reminded that Jesus left everything He knew, HIs father, the gold paved streets of heaven, the constant praise and worship of angels, to save us. What a great reason to be joyful this Christmas season. Remember, dream big, go for the extrodindary. God wants to show you great things, things bigger than you can even dream or imagine. Let Him dream for you.
With all our love,
The Herricks Family