Moments with Molly
It's been awhile...
I hope this finds you doing well and enjoying the spring weather. I am writing to you from Friendswood in South Texas. I have been in Texas for a little over two years; I’m on leave from EFM. Time has flown by, and yet it seems like ages. The last few years have been a whirlwind of re-entry and learning to be American again. Coming home from Rwanda with a new illness was unexpected, and learning to live where God has placed me is both a challenge and a blessing. This has been one of life’s curveballs for me, but even in the midst of that, the Lord is good, the Lord is near, and the Lord is at work. There have been hard days and joyous days along the way. Thank you for praying. And thank you for your support during these years of transition. My hope is that this letter will update you on where I am and where I am headed.
Life in Texas
When I got home in January 2014, it took months to finally get to the bottom of what was actually happening to me. In April we finally discovered that I have an ovarian disorder, which causes hormone imbalances. To put it in a quick nutshell, these imbalances caused stomach issues, headaches, brain-fog, and major energy problems. We also found several allergies and vitamin deficiencies.
The treatment plan included a major diet change. I started seeing results, but it was a slow process. There have been ups, downs, and dips along the way, but I have learned that this will be a lifelong journey of balance, trial, and error. I have good seasons and bad seasons, but I seem to be moving in a positive direction. I keep thinking things will get back to “normal” some day; however, I have begun to realize that this is the “new normal.”
I am in my second school year at a public school in Texas. Last year I taught second grade and this year I am teaching first grade. Teaching has been a wonderfully rich and challenging experience all at the same time. As many of you know, little people are full of life and joy, but they can also be quite a handful. During the recovery my energy level allowed me to make it through the day, but I was exhausted in the evenings. Survival mode was the name of the game. This year my energy levels are much higher throughout the day and evening, which allows me to be more involved in other things.
In missions and ministry, we are always looking for ways to build authentic relationships with people. In education you live right in the middle of 21 lives for a year. I can build authentic relationships, but I have to be authentic first. I am learning that teaching not only allows me to live the gospel, but it makes me live the gospel daily—not in theory, but in action. Loving kiddos is truth wrapped in grace all day. I feel blessed and challenged by that reality. The Lord is calling me to practice what I preach.
My family has been a huge source of help, support, and comfort in this time of transition. There have been days when I couldn't hold my head up and needed help just to find breakfast. There have been days when I have needed help with household duties and other days when I don't need help at all. But having my family near and available has been a true blessing. I am living in a small home with friends, which is just a mile or so from my parents and brother’s family. However, my immediate family has been through quite a lot in these last few years. My grandmother was very ill when I arrived home, and she was on bed rest for over a year at my parent’s house before she died in 2015. She was the matriarch of our family and the last of her generation. It was a chapter in my life that closed, and I am very grateful to have been a part of it. My sister has also been very ill over the last year or so. She was diagnosed with two life-threatening illnesses. Being able to walk alongside her while supporting her young family has given me great joy. I can't imagine not being here during this time. The Lord knows what we need.
Moving back to my hometown after being overseas is a strange experience. I once called this place home because I lived here most of my life. However, I was away for almost ten years before I returned, and I quickly learned that both Texas and I have changed a bit. Consequently, it has taken time to make a place for me here. My lifelong friends have been a great blessing and help. They let me stay with them and have kept me laughing through the transition, so I am grateful to them. I love my home church, too. They have walked alongside me during my recovery, helped me stock a new home with supplies, assisted me in finding a job, and welcomed me into their lives with open arms.
I wasn't able to be overly involved my first year, but I felt led to work with my peers. That’s why Andrea Bryne and I started a small group for adults ranging from college-age to early 30s. This is an age group in the suburbs of Houston (or maybe everywhere) that struggles to feel connected to the body of Christ because it’s difficult to find believers to walk the life with. This struggle is probably due to many reasons, but one of the reasons is that our age group lives in a constant state of transition: new schools, new marriages, new jobs, new babies, etc. Well, transition is something I’ve learned about over the last few years, whether I chose the transition or not. So our small group has truly become my source for friends (lower case) and Friends (upper case). I am so grateful for the honor to lead them and do life with them. They have become the piece of life here that helps me feel tethered to the US.
As some of you know, I am technically on long-term medical leave from EFM. I am grateful that EFM has given me space to sort through what is happening with my health and to see what God is up to. This space has also allowed me to NOT let go of missions completely. Rwanda has been a major part of my life and work, so there are things in Rwanda I still love and miss deeply. I have been awakened many mornings thinking I’m in Rwanda and not Texas. So I have been in a place of waiting and wondering about what the Lord has been up to over these past few years. And as my time of medical leave is coming to a close, I find myself thinking about and seeking the Lord’s will.
This summer my home church and I will have a meeting of clearness, which is a Friends way of saying we will meet to seek the Lord’s will. I will be fasting and praying in preparation for the meeting, and I am asking you to join me in asking God to reveal his will for my life. We have some major questions to tackle that, to be honest, I don’t have answers for. Here are several of those questions: Do I return to the field IF I am healthy? Can I maintain a good level of health overseas? Is God even calling me to go overseas? If God is calling me overseas, where does he want me to go? Those are not easy questions for me to answer right now, so thank you in advance for praying.
At this point, I just want you to be in the loop. I hope you feel updated with my life, but feel free to contact me if you have any questions.