Hello from Cape Town, South Africa!
Thank you so much to those of you who prayed for safe travels and sent messages of encouragement. You guys are such a blessing!
The Lord certainly answered prayer, and we have had such a sweet reunion with my mother- and brother-in-law so far.
Read all about our arrival in Cape Town here.
I’m also sharing lots of photos over on Instagram and Facebook if you’d like to follow along!
For those you are new to the Five Minute Friday blog link-up, you can learn more about it on our link-up page.
This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is: RESTORE
Setting my timer for five minutes, and . . . GO.
Before leaving for Cape Town for the summer, I asked the FMF community which words you guys would like to write on. A number of you suggested the word, “RESTORE,” and I loved it. It’s a word so pregnant with hope and reconciliation.
But every time I thought about what I would write for this prompt, this verse from the book of Joel came to mind:
“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten . . .” (Joel 2:25a).
We’ve been away from Cape Town for five and a half years. That’s five and a half years that my husband has not seen his mother or brother. Five and a half years that my mother-in-law has not seen her grandchildren.
I lived in Cape Town for ten years before moving back to Michigan with my South African family and three kids. During the vast majority of those ten years, my mom had cancer on the other side of the Atlantic. Yet God kept us in Cape Town.
Now my mom’s gone, and we’re living in Michigan at a time when my husband’s mom is healthy and well and desperate to see her only grandkids.
Shouldn’t we have done it the other way around? I wonder this sometimes.
Of course I don’t have the answer, but I know God does. He did it this way for a reason, and ultimately as it says in Acts 17:26, God determined ahead of time the exact times and places where His people will live.
I would never say that the past five years in America would qualify as years the locust has eaten. Never. They’ve been beautiful, fruitful years, filled with the Lord’s kindness and goodness. But as far as South Africa is concerned, they have been lost years.
But now we are back, and we sit in the backyard doing jigsaw puzzles with Ouma as if no time as passed.
Want to receive updates via email about our experience in Cape Town? Sign up here.
Read more about my first ten years in South Africa in my memoir,
A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging
ORDER YOUR COPY HERE
Affiliate links used in this post
Share your own five-minute free write on the prompt, RESTORE, below, then visit your link-up neighbor to read their post and leave an encouraging comment!
Subscribe to rediscover the motivation to write, plus get our latest updates via email.
I’m so glad you’re feeling restoration with your family in such a beautiful place! I can’t even imagine it seeing my grandson for five years. Your mother-in-love must be over the moon right now. May God continue to bless and keep you as you visit and feel his grace.
I can so relate as one who lives away from her family of origin. So glad you can have this time making memories.
So glad you’ve made it safe. I know the feeling. It’s like a piece of licorice being torn in to. But I pray for now, that the Lord will give you a peace that surpasses all your understanding about what could have and what might have; been there too… And allow you to step forward one day at a time… Paul says it best. “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Phillip: 3:13-15… Be safe and enjoy your time!
Wow! I’m praising God for His leading me to your site this A.M.! Our family just had a wonderful week together after two years o separation, and now they’re all gone. Our stories are so similar, although only 1,200 miles apart.
My mother-heart struggled greatly with the separation from my kids and grandkids, but God’s Grace truly is sufficient. Ditto to all you shared! Thanks you and God bless you!
Thank you for sharing such a beautiful verse of hope, but also that even though you have been separated from family for many years, they were productive years. Like a well watered garden you have lived connected to God, knowing He has you where he intends for you to be. May your time in South Africa bring refreshment to you and your family. Bless you!
Better late at the last minute than never! Thank you for this precious word which suddenly means so much to me. I’m so glad you made it safely with your family to South Africa. Have a wonderful time of relaxation, restoration and gleaning from your special people across the ocean!
I’m so excited that I wrote about Psalm 51 and I am #51 on the link up. =)