Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Shattered Reality!

Nothing changes you like real life.

You can watch a million miles go by the window, but an afternoon spent in one spot along the way can change you forever.  That one step closer can shatter everything.

Kids and parents at the river welcomed the old white guy.
Those are my glasses.
She's just two weeks old, sir.  Let me hold her up
so you can see how pretty she is.
Her extended family (huge) adopted my wife and me,
and our friendship has continued over the years.
I avoided Africa for decades, choosing instead assignments in the developed world.  The Cold War was my philosophical context, and until the Wall came down, that was my focus.  Years later, my job required a first foray into western Africa, and my worldview was changed yet again.  I hadn't known what 'normal' was until folks took me in and taught me about real life.  It took a year, a difficult year, for my wife to assimilate what she experienced there.

This isn't the life we had expected.  Not remotely similar to anything we'd imagined.

I recall planning for marriage.  At twenty, I deliberately quit dating, and I planned on waiting until thirty before tying the knot.  I read books on the subject, got my career and finances on track, had a life plan ... but at twenty-three, I met and married the most extraordinary woman.  Everything changed, of course, and for seven years we grew and grew closer.  Then ...

We weren't inclined to have children; we'd seen too many tumultuous families, but there was this family in Spain; mom and dad, a missionary couple, and their wonderful children inspired us.  Soon, a young couple on their way to the ministry prayed for us.  They'd been prayed over and conceived the same day, so they prayed over us, and we had the same results.  Odd, but instructional.

Our little princess grew up as an only child; healthy and practical, she became a rather magnificent person who continues to teach us new things.  She and her husband gave us our little princess granddaughter who follows in her mom's footsteps.  At two years old, she's stunning.  Of course.

I recall how in my twenties, I felt as though I had arrived at adulthood.  I had the knowledge I needed, a healthy personal philosophy and theology, credentials and skills, and ... every last piece was disassembled and much was discarded along the way.  Now we laugh a lot at how much we've changed and lament that personal growth and wisdom aren't the product of an easy path.

The horizon ahead is bright and much wider than we thought it would be, an unexpected blessing from a loving Father.

There's stories and hundreds of pictures at TexasEx.Org
And if you'd like to, you can go see for yourself.  :)

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