The curtain closes on 2015 as a life and death crisis dawns on a sweet friend and her firstborn; a daughter who longs to follow us to Florida faces another semester living apart; a baby brother finally moves home only a handful of months after we’ve moved away; cousins who are more like siblings face a seemingly impossible 6-month separation.

At the same time, we’ve experienced countless blessings and moments of joy during our holiday back home. We’ve laughed, loved, celebrated, and feasted – oh, how we’ve missed Imo’s and The Cup!

We’ve survived 60 straight hours of rain, enjoyed surprise visits from family, explored the new IKEA, played hours of pinochle, and caught the 2nd showing of Star Wars. Lifelong friends have cared for us and pampered us with their love and attention in a myriad of ways from puppy care to homemade cheesecakes to reliable haircuts. Ah, home!

This dichotomy of living the highest of highs and lowest of lows is how we are ringing in 2016. We drove away today with heavy hearts and a steady stream of tears because this place holds our roots, our history, our extended tribe, and the very definitions of the life we’ve known up to this point.

Once again we turn and set our faces towards our new lives that are filled with such promise that it constantly takes our breath away. God, in all His wisdom and sovereignty, chose this period in our lives to transplant us into a truly beautiful land. We are building a new life – a repurposed life – and with this promise comes so much hope. It’s this hope that pushes us beyond homesickness and beyond comfort that comes with normalcy.

We don’t yet know the adventures or difficulties contained within our narrative over the next 12 months. The blank page of a new year is in itself a dichotomy; it’s equally daunting and exciting. Today we choose to lay all of the pain from our lives, and those we love, at the feet of Jesus and trust him with the outcome. In 2016 we hold onto Ps.18:28 and trust God to illuminate all our pathways with His glorious truth.