Peace starts in my own heart. Sometimes I lose peace, and I just can’t move on until I get it back again. Being a mother of four, one of the quickest ways for me to lose my peace is for something to happen to one of my kids. Over the years in Rwanda we’ve had close calls, and sickness, plenty of times when I had to run to God to help me find peace.
Tomorrow Breanna is flying to Oregon from Kenya. My mother’s heart is pounding hard just thinking about it. I remember the first time she told me that she’d like to go to boarding school in Kenya (we live in Rwanda). She was 12, finishing 7th grade. I thought I’d rather die than let my daughter move away from me at such a young age! But as I sought God, once again looking for the peace that my heart had so quickly lost, He reminded me that this wasn’t about me. When I considered what was best for Bree, what she needed, it was clear—this was about her. Going to Rift Valley Academy has been an amazing experience for her. She is happy and thriving. And we have a great relationship. But my mother’s heart has definitely struggled for peace on and off over the years. All the times that I’ve come to God and asked him why I don’t get to have my little girl at home with me, he has been my source of peace and comfort. And he has been faithful to me, and to Bree throughout all of it.
Now she’s 17, a senior. She wants to go to George Fox and has been invited to a scholarship competition there next weekend. Since she’s grown up in Africa she has some serious misgivings about being in the States. She doesn’t feel she fits in, she doesn’t understand what’s going on, she just feels it isn’t “right.” So putting her on a plane to the U.S. by herself made me feel less peaceful than I’d like. As I’ve been praying for her and this trip the last month God has shown me incredible love and mercy. There have been so many God sightings in relation to this trip that I can’t even begin to tell them all. I sit here just a day before she leaves, and yes, I’m nervous, but mostly I am completely in awe at a God who cares so deeply for me, for my daughter that he would see to every detail of her trip. And I am in a state of peace. It is not a peace that I’ve been able to work out, but a deep down knowing that he is truly going before my daughter, and that as I let go, I’m setting her in his hands. My pounding heart has slowed again as I’m remembering that its God that brings peace, and he’s the one I’m trusting with my little girl.
Contributed by Debby Thomas, Rwanda, Africa