Some time after my first trip to South Africa my friend Bryn showed me this book. One of the contributors, writes this:

“I straddle two worlds. One foot in America. One foot in Africa. My heart is split. It’s an awkward place to be, as it stretches the legs upon which I stand. I would prefer to be in one place instead of straddled awkwardly across an ocean. Contrary to American doctrine, however, I think we are supposed to be a little bit uncomfortable as we live within the tensions of this complicated world.” 
― Jena Lee

This quote has always articulated the tension I feel since my first trip better than my own words. My heart is split. I am stretched. 

I’m a slow processor of big emotions. I have to sit with them a while with a few sideways glances, I have to test them out. I have to retreat a while, circle back around, and test the waters again. Sometimes that takes a few days longer than most. Sometimes it takes months. A year. 

This time last year we were preparing to move back to Texas from South Africa. Two years ago we were moving out of our house. Big emotions! Lots of stretching. Its awkward, and tense, and sometimes the growing pains make my back hurt. So much to celebrate, and much to grieve as well.

I wrote this post while processing a lot culture shock in the beginning of our time in South Africa. The Lord is faithful to remind me of His promise, and I just needed to reread that post tonight. His promise remains, and is renewed each day. I am stretched, but He is faithful. 

  • When saying goodbyes…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • When reunited…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • In anticipation of new life…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • In readjusting…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • In enjoying familiar and comfortable…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • In guilt for enjoying your couch and tv…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • When consumerism obviously consumes you…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • When new life is celebrated…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • When doctors wake you in the middle of the night with scary news…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • When your baby has more tubes attached than days she has been alive…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • In adjusting…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • When it feels there is nothing left of you to give…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • When you wonder how you ever truly lived before…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • When trust comes from the One who deserves it…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • When fear overcomes…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • In celebrating new opportunities…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • In grieving old ones…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • When “Going” becomes “Staying”…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • When faithfulness is much less exciting, but just as important…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • When accepting reality…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • When holding steadfast to hope for a new reality…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • When thankful for new relationships…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • When celebrating new families…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • When trusting God’s grace for your child…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • When facing the awesome responsibility to show/tell/do/say/be/point out that Grace to your child…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • When thankful for old friends…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • When missing little faces so bad it hurts…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • When attending funerals for four year olds…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • When missing funerals for 15 year olds…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • When skyping across the world…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • When missing 8th birthdays…He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • When hopeful for 9th ones….He will never leave you, nor forsake you. 
  • When celebrating new milestones..He will never leave you, nor forsake you.


You Said Go has a new meaning for us these days. Go after the opportunities God has for us to here, in this place, in this time. Allow the past to shape us, but not hold us back. Go after the people He has given us to love and serve. Go after dreams placed in us. Go after His best for us. Go after the awkward tension of being stretched, because that’s where the good stuff is.