We will never be the same

I’m finding it hard to grasp words for the feelings going on inside, to describe the things I’m seeing outside.

We are back from Africa now. Power is on. Water flows from taps into my glass to drink. Vegetables and fruit are free from essential bleach washing. And green things grow everywhere I turn.

It is wonderful to be home in the USA! (Here are some pictures of our Atlantic ocean dip before heading to the west coast.)

IMG_3442 IMG_3466 IMG_3477 IMG_3484

And yet…

There are people who have changed me, changed us. Black people and white people. People with education and people illiterate, people clean and people dusty. Young and old.

Our family will never be the same. And here are the beautiful reasons why…

IMG_4536

 

IMG_4897

 

100_3571

 

IMG_5290

 

IMG_5670

 

IMG_6478

 

IMG_6790IMG_6818

 

IMG_6976

 

 

IMG_0002 IMG_1377 IMG_3316IMG_7050

 

IMG_0846

 

IMG_0595

 

IMG_0006IMG_0643

 

IMG_0758

 

IMG_0760

 

IMG_3409 IMG_3415IMG_1377SAM_2271

 

SAM_2297

 

SAM_2309

 

IMG_3377

 

IMG_3409IMG_0002IMG_2577

 

IMG_2585

 

IMG_2615

 

IMG_2697

 

IMG_2726

 

IMG_3125

 

IMG_2881

 

IMG_3141

 

IMG_3189

 

IMG_3346

 

IMG_3304

 

IMG_3349

 

IMG_3310

 

IMG_3313

 

IMG_3318

 

IMG_3326

 

IMG_3342

 

IMG_0228

3 thoughts on “We will never be the same

  1. Beautiful Gray family – my heart felt so full just looking at each of these pictures thinking of the beautiful people and stories that are behind each one. Thank you so much for your faithfulness to God’s call and for including us in it so that we could all be spurred on as well. If you have an evening when you are sharing at your church or anything else like that, please let us know.

  2. Welcome back to the USA, Gray family. You are right–you will never be the same. Once you have seen a different part of the world, it stays with you. I still have solid memories of 7 years in Africa (Nigeria and Kenya) during my childhood. You have given your children a gift.
    I wanted to write and thank you for your questions on this post. I think your questions show that you are a person who is always seeking God’s will for your life. These thought-provoking questions are good to ask ourselves, as you say, in whatever situation we are experiencing. I took your questions and substituted them with “ALD,” the disease that affects our third son. We found out about this genetic disease 2 1/2 years ago, and it is always at the forefront of my mind. Matt is now 10 years old. So, my husband,Troy and I might ask questions that sound like this:

    –Why are we dealing with ALD, of all diseases in the world?
    –How does this fit in with my “calling?”
    –How will God use these experiences in the lives of others I know and love?
    –Am I learning all that God wants me to learn on this ALD journey?
    And lastly: How is God working through Matthew?

    Thank you for posting these questions. I included them in our latest Caring Bridge entry. If you are interested in our son’s health journey, you may visit: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/matthewreimer

    Blessings to you all as you adjust to life back in Tacoma. Thanks for posting all your thoughts and beautiful pictures.
    Emily Janzen Reimer (old school mate of Andrew and David’s)

    1. Thank you Emily! I am sorry it has taken me so long to write back – I keep thinking I will have more time to sit and give you a thoughtful reply, but my days are a blur lately. I truly appreciate your words of encouragement and even the thoughts of how God is using YOUR circumstances to shape you and your own heart. This is just the best way to live, eh? Always seeking Him for insight as to what HE is doing in our hearts. How is your son? What kind of treatment is he going through? Will it be ongoing? I pray that you will be at peace in everything you are going through – May you find strength in God’s rock-like ways. Thanks again for writing! With love, Nikki

Leave a Reply to Emily Janzen Reimer Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s