The first stateside, our son and his family of four, moved in with us. While we all realized it wouldn’t be ideal, since it became our only option, we were determined to work it out. We have a unique situation in that their living quarters were upstairs. It was possible for them to have a measure of privacy. But we managed it and made some pretty wonderful memories in the process. But, concessions had to be made and while not always successful, the fact that we were reunited after a four year separation was our settling factor.

Our second stateside was unexpectedly brought on by the COVID shutdown. It found us combining our families once again but with some definite changes. The four bedrooms and one bathroom upstairs became their apartment. They made necessary changes to accommodate the four of them. It was a struggle at times, especially for me. I just didn’t transition well in seeing the upstairs as no longer my realm. I wasn’t sharing my space with them, it was theirs exclusively. But we made it work once again as it was the most practical option for all.

A few months after returning to the field, the country in which they served underwent a coup. The timing of their stateside was adjusted to move them home earlier than planned. But this time their options of where they were to live had been expanded. By God’s design my son and his family live about one and a half hours from us. They are missionary in residence at our university’s alma mater and our son teaches there. This has turned out to be the best of both worlds. They are close enough to visit back and forth. Yet, they are independently living their own lives.

Stateside can get complicated. Returning home and getting resettled in their home country raises many concerns. Nevertheless, we must trust God to show them the path our children must take. Knowing and trusting Him to lead them in the way that is best for our children. It’s not about us or asserting our will. Keeping that focus will result in all building up a store of blessed memories during their stateside.

Stateside is a time of rejuvenation, redirection, and reunions. As God guides our dear ones on the path to which He has called them. It’s a matter of trust and following His lead.