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The upside of a “downer” week

After an incredibly discouraging week of calamities and then sharing honestly about how she felt in the midst of those things, Julie Rumph, a SSMF missionary serving in South Africa, learned 5 key lessons after she had time to “process” things. 

There is Light on this path.

Sorry for the downer post last week, but I’m just keeping you all well informed about this journey.

It’s been a week of processing.

Here are my conclusions:

1.  I have friends that care.

A lot of you have messaged or Facebooked or otherwise checked in to say that you have been praying or other little notes that have been so welcomed this week. It’s nice when you have those tangible things to make you feel like you’ve got a good team on your side.

Thanks so much for sending the love this week. It made a difference.

2.  After Monday, it essentially has rained all week and, yes, I still have a leaking window.

I’m over it–I’ll be honest.

But then…..oh……….but then, my brain conveniently reminds me of all the people that are my colleagues, patients, and clients here.

They live in pieced together homes.  All those homes leak and are drafty–and wind always accompanies the rain here.

As I type, it looks rather blustery out there.  Picture the black and white part of Wizard of Oz, (but nothing like all the fallout in Oklahoma recently–I certainly don’t want to diminish that kind of disaster.)

It does give me a reality check.

–While I have leaks and it is cold and drafty, I’m dry and relatively warm.

–I have a secure roof and don’t have standing water in my home or have to forge my way to an outdoor toilet.

Get over yourself Julie!

It is here that I stop and say another note of thanks–for God’s providence, for my geography, for my family, and for the blessing of just being born into a context that is totally different than the people here.

And then I feel a little guilty.

There’s nothing better about me.  Where I was born had nothing to do with what I did and it was nothing that they had done that would have caused them to be born where they were.

So is it perspective or guilt that I am viewing things through?

Both maybe–but I do feel humbled by it all.

3.  Someone this week shared the scripture about putting on the armor of God. Someone else in my small group shared a scripture about standing strong in our trials.

Several little instances or conversations came up, without people knowing the circumstances of my week.

It’s true that scripture is alive.

It really was my belt of truth, the gospel of peace on my feet to keep me walking forward.  It was my shield of faith. (Ephesians 6:14-17)

4.  Something else to be thankful for was really being taught how to be thankful.

I have talked about my time of training at MTI before, but I don’t believe that I shared how one of the practices that they had us do was to look for something to be thankful for each day.

I can’t think of the name right now, but there was a study we did in my childhood church that had us do a “God Hunts”.  It’s kind of like that.

I’ll be honest again, I did this before, but for some reason, I had stopped….until this week.

This week I made it a point to find AT LEAST ONE reason to be thankful.

It helped a lot.  You see God AND you see more of the reality of the situation.

You can’t have a pity party.  Try it.  I promise it will change your week.

5.  And just in case there is any doubt out there–I am still happy here. I love the work that I am doing, the people I am meeting, and seeing God a little more clearly in my day to day life.

It was just a rough stretch.

Thanks for all the support in getting and keeping me here.


Rejoice always! Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  I Thessalonians 5:16-18

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