My arms feel the emptiness tonight. They ache.  No one is calling me mama (not since 8:30 am), no sweet darlings crawling up to cuddle in my lap before falling asleep.  I feel like part of my heart forgot to be packed, or stubbornly refused to come with me this time.

This time something happened.  Leaving Sudan is different.  And I am surprised at the change.  This time I am leaving my home behind, not returning to it. And that reality hit hard, really hard.  I hold one of my older daughters tight and whisper in her ear, ” Seli le mama taki ma momoria toi benia tai, keli ita seli.” (Pray for your mama and her journey, pray my daughter please).  I hold back early rains from my eyes.  She radiates HIM and sends me forth in His light.

I am looking forward to dearly loved friends and food I am not allergic to.  I am so honored to be able to share with so many over the next 8 weeks jewels from this journey each day with Him here.  I am so grateful for the possibility of a hot bath and times to hide in His Presence.  I really, really am.

But tonight I ache.  I long, throb for home and my daughters and sons just curling up for sleep for there.

Patience is about to take her first steps without any help any day.  Our precious Tabu is about to experience being vertical in walker for the first time in two years to use her legs.  Noora Aba beams brighter and Saida is just learning to trust.   Safari has graduated our Revival School and will be leading our compound church and my teenagers are tucked away studying hard for their graduation exams to come.  Anjoyu comes and hugs me long and my Vicki Joy grows more precocious every day!  She loves drama and all the earth is her stage.

Is this home ache even a fraction of what Papa feels when He longs to make His home in us? I wonder deep and breathe thanksgiving to Him.  For His Home in me.  For my Home in Him.  For our home and family and the journey that will bring me back to them in not that long. But it feels very long tonight.  Might you pray for me friends as we journey this unpaved road together?

I lean into His promise.

Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”  His home comes with me.

I lean in to the light of His Presencing Himself with me and wonder at such love.  Could I be His home?  Could my very imperfect house, my frame of clay contain and shine forth such radiance? A light house of His love.  Where ever Jesus is, surely I am at home for home runs much deeper than location. Home is the lives that surround my heart and hold it fast so that parts of my heart stay behind, even when the rest of me leaves.

Now in this moment, I choose.  To reach out and hold on to the One whose love IS my home.  To the One who holds me and my heart and my 110 beautiful sons and daughters in His arms no matter how far apart we are.

I am humbled.  To be carried and surrounded, sent out by the love-whispers of prayer from my family in Sudan and to be welcomed and embraced by more friends and family in so many places to come.

You are {SO} very loved.  Thank you for journeying on this unpaved road with me.  Maybe our paths will cross in my travels to come.  Wave me down if they do.

Much love from Uganda, Michele