As I look back through the pictures from our last year and a half in Germany, I realize that they cannot even begin to describe the adventure we have been on. I can tell that each picture desperately wants to tell you of the relationships we’ve built, of the quality time we’ve spent, of the customs we’ve learned, and the heartaches we’ve had. Yet they can only give you a snapshot glance of all these things. It takes our hearts and memories to fill in the gaps, to tell what the pictures truly mean. And to me they mean something deeper than I could even describe.
To me they mean a year and a half of working side by side with the person I love the most. They mean watching him deepen his understanding of his native language and culture. They mean witnessing the growth of his relationship with his grandparents and gaining a deeper connection with his mother. They mean watching new friends read the Bible for the first time and understanding the world through their eyes. They mean gaining new friendships and maintaining old ones. They mean overcoming fears and finding strength in places strength didn’t exist before. They mean learning to live again and most importantly they are a reminder of what it means to take up our cross daily and live our lives surrendered to Jesus Christ. That is the emotion these pictures ignite for me and it is a huge reminder that God isn’t done with me yet but rather growing me in to the woman he wants me to be daily.
And yet, the sacrifices also bleed through the edges of the photos and I am quickly reminded what it took to pack up everything and go to a place that He showed us. But each sting of sacrifice is overcome with the joy of knowing that I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine. This world can be tempting but my Lord has everything I’ll ever need. And I can’t imagine life any other way. These photos remind me that I am living the abundant life in Christ Jesus and I want it so desperately for everyone else, too.