This post will be a little more of a personal reflection than most. We're finally reorganizing our lives a little bit: the blog here hasn't been getting as much priority anymore. Cynthia has been spending more time with the kids and cutting down on obligations that contribute to her overall stress level, so the blog has kind of taken a backseat for that reason. I'm also busy keeping everything going and with some other projects that I'm working on, such as the website design job that Cynthia mentioned previously.
As for me, some days are still difficult: I ask myself why God had us invest so much effort and physical and emotional energy in something that didn't work out (and I ask Him the same thing). I ask myself if it was all my fault: something I failed to do or did wrong, but I don't think it was. Obviously we didn't do everything perfect and if given another chance I would do some things much differently, but none of our mistakes were to the level of disqualifying us from service. I've sincerely asked God about it, and He's never told me anything that was "the cause" for us to not make it to the mission field and have to give up. That comforts me. I reflect that I would be a terrible father if I punished my kids for something they did wrong and then refuse to tell them what it was that they're being punished for: I don't believe God does that either. If this was all punishment from God, He would've told me why: since He hasn't, I don't have any reason to feel guilty.
I still feel a sense of shame that I declared what I thought would happen and pursued what I felt was called to, and our naysayers (there weren't many, but there were a few) were the ones who were proved correct, and all the wonderful people who supported us and encouraged us so much were proved wrong. I feel like I owe a debt to all of you, many of whom are still reading this blog, that I now can't fulfill. I'm sorry, although I know you'll tell me I don't need to be. I need to say it anyways.
Our lives aren't over, and I'm not spending much time brooding over the past or "what might have been". I'm certain that at the end of my life (or at least when I look back on it from heaven) I'll see why this was all necessary, and truthfully we had some great experiences getting to spend time with people and share the vision of Wycliffe. The kids got to spend priceless time with their grandparents that would've been impossible otherwise. There's lots of things to be thankful for from this past year, but I can't pretend that at this time the death of my dream doesn't still hurt. It does. I'm still hopeful to see where God leads us to go from here. We're still moving forward.