Back to the USofA for some good old R. and R.

Last night my parents and my husband’s parents graciously bought us tickets to go back to the states for Thanksgiving. We leave on Monday and will spend a week in Seattle and about a week in Arizona and then be back in Prague on the 2nd of December. It’s really last minute and I’m still sort of in shock. My head is swimming with all that I have to do in the 3 days before we leave. But, we are so excited to get to see friends and family and to just be in the states for a little bit.

Today I was meeting with a friend and talking through some stuff that has to get done before we leave and also getting some advice about support raising while we are back in the states and at one point she stopped the conversation and basically shared with me that she saw and heard that this trip needed to be a time of Rest and Receiving for Bryan and I. It suddenly dawned on me how little rest I have felt lately and how difficult it is for me to receive from God and from other people.

The past few weeks in Prague have been really difficult for me in many ways. I have known and experienced for a long time that Prague is a very dark place physically and spiritually and emotionally. But, the past few weeks I have FELT that darkness like never before.

In the past few weeks and months I have also seen more clearly and more tangibly then ever brilliant and radiant rays of Light and Hope. I have experienced God’s spirit at work in his people and have seen him piercing this darkness and speaking his truth.

…but, even with those rays of light, there is still so much darkness, and it has weighed down on me lately.

As my friend spoke truth to me and called me into God’s perfect rest I suddenly felt this growing peace and excitement about this trip back to the states. It really dawned on me and I really felt that for two weeks I won’t be here in Prague and even as I felt sad that I would be missing out on being a part of the rays of light God will bring in those two weeks I also felt relief and freedom that for a few days I won’t be under this same cloud of darkness and I can rest. It felt good to know that rest is coming and that I can trust that God will restore me so that I can come back to Prague energized and rested, with renewed passion and energy for bringing his Light to this dark city.

It also felt good to realize that I would be with family and friends who have known me and loved me for a very long time. And even though receiving and allowing others to support and love me has been a continual struggle for me, in this moment I feel such a deep need of others support and love that I feel like I am ready to receive and to relax into the ways that God wants to build me up through his body. I feel ready to let people in, ready to let them know that I need them desperately, and ready to accept whatever forms of love and grace God may direct them to give to my husband and I.

Lord, bring deep rest and restoration through this trip. And Father, teach me to, with open hands, receive your love and blessing through your people. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Rejoicing in the journey - Bethany Stedman