where my feet may fail – one year later

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14.

Numb. I feel completely numb.

This must be a bad dream. A joke. A horror movie. This can’t be real life, can it?

I got the message today that sweet Eli bug was back in the village. His mom of a year had to do the unthinkable, the unimaginable, and make the step into that van to take her baby to a home that, for unjustified reasons, decided after all this time that he needed to come back. My heart broke.

It was not hours before that I met two amazing friends from home in Kampala to start their week-and-a-half in country – serving alongside Sole Hope. My heart was full of joy and excitement as we caught up on missed times and just enjoyed drinking coffee at the same table.

How could this be the same day?

I think back to that very first day that Asher and I met Eli. His name was unpronounceable and his tiny little frame was frail and malnourished. Through many bouts of sickness and attempts to nourish his body, he became the 4th (sometimes 5th) member of the Collie family. He always held a sweet corner of my heart. The Lord allowed me to witness him become more alert and grow into his long and lanky limbs. Leaving in August was one of the hardest things I’ve done – knowing I would miss so many milestones that wouldn’t feel the same from thousands of miles away. Yet, the Lord challenged me to put that little boy in the palm of his hands and walk away knowing the Savior of this broken world called him son.

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7.15.13 | Blog Post – “Where My Feet May Fail”: “It’s definitely going to be a lesson in trust. In giving the things that I can’t control over to God. He has a plan far beyond what I can envision. Where my feet may fail me, God still has Eli’s life in His hands. He has my life in His hands. Let me have trust without borders. Let me go wherever you have called me. I’ve been so blessed to be given the opportunity to hold this precious life in my hands. Sleep well little Eli, God’s got both of us in his hands.”

If only I knew how those words would resonate with me almost exactly one year later. While those words were just written with the intentions of moving back home, these words could not be truer of the situation today. I still don’t understand these words. I still don’t want to deal with what this looks like. I still don’t want to hand over that little boy not knowing what tomorrow will look like. I wish I could go back to that night when Eli was sleeping just a room away, where he was safe in a family that loved him and cared for him more than he will ever know. Where I knew he would grow up to be the most amazing man of God.

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Even still, God knows. He knew this day would come – and in some ways, I’m angry with him for that. I so want something to blame for this pain I feel in my chest, this tightness that feels like the weight of the world is crushing me into the ground. Yet in all of this disbelief and lack of understanding, still He is good. He knows us by name and calls us each to a life in pursuit of him. Still I will pursue him. Still I will trust his plan. Still I will cry out in pain knowing that my God will fight for us.

My heart is numb. It’s breaking. It’s crushed. It can’t begin to understand.

His family is one short tonight. His crib is empty. His parents and siblings’ hearts broken with grief. Still they trust you – knowing your plan is somewhere in the midst of this earthly heartbreak. For them I pray for peace that makes understanding this unimaginable brokenness unneeded. I pray that they move closer to the Creator as a family of one less – yet full of You.

Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me, you’ve never failed and You won’t start now. – Oceans, Hillsong United

Still He is good, He is faithful, He is sovereign – he holds us all in his hands – the safest place we could dream of being.

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