Through our nearly 30 years here in Italy we’ve seen that God keeps his promises. It’s not been easy, but God is ever faithful. And despite the difficulties, we would tread this path all over again. For it has helped us know God in a greater way. And helped us see his glory, his majesty, and his splendor.
We celebrate 29 years here next month! But it’s Joy mixed with sorrow.
Unable to attend the funerals of Mario’s parents and my grandparents, the needed closure took much longer.
Until we finally met our new grandchildren, usually when they were already 2-4 years old, our empty arms ached.
We’ve missed many milestones in our children’s lives, from graduations to first dates, as well as marriage engagements, weddings, and most special holidays and birthdays.
Yet God is faithful, and keeps his promises!
Jesus said, ‘Most certainly I tell you, there is no one who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or land, for my sake, and for the sake of the Good News, but he will receive one hundred times more now in this time, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land, with persecutions; and in the age to come eternal life.’ — Mark 10:29-30.
Yes, joy is often mixed with sorrow. It’s hard missing major events in their lives. It’s hard when loved ones are in the hospital, and flights (the only option we have) are just too expensive. And at such times the ocean lying between us that swells and fades with the tide, in my mind becomes even more immense.
So you ask, “Why do you do it? What makes you stay?” And rightly so. Because I’m sure it must come across sometimes as complaining. But trust me, it’s not. It’s just the reality of the situation. Facts are facts, and we are but human. Not Super Saints.
But we stay because of the Lord’s promise in Mark chapter 10.
No, not for the lands and houses, great as they are. If we cared about those, we would never have come in the first place! But for the people… and so many faces flash before our eyes. Those who have become as a mother or father to us. Those we regard as our children. For the love of them, we stay. And for the love of the many who have not yet joined the family. For them we stay, and that makes it worth it all!
And that’s why, though at times our hearts are heavy, ours is a tale of rejoicing! A tale of good tidings, for we have a good and loving Father, who does far beyond what we could ever think or imagine!
Like the incredible story of how we came to own a summer home!
One home for folks who have never earned above the poverty level seems ludicrous…but two? Yes, for we have inherited Mario’s ancestral home — the very house he was born in! And though he actually owns it jointly with his 3 siblings, they’re in the USA, so we’re the only ones who use it.
Until my father-in-law’s death, we often visited Hubby’s hometown, which we call Beyond Forgotten. Our children loved that village, which was like a giant playground to them. But I dreaded the visits in some ways because Papà never cleaned, and it was always our job to do a major cleaning. In other words: we loved him and knew he needed us. So I quenched the tears and rolled up my shirtsleeves!
But after his death in 2000 we stayed away.
We neither needed or wanted an extra home. Let alone the expenses involved! And with Papà gone, we didn’t really see any reason for going. Plus until we moved from northern Italy down here to Abruzzo, it was a long trip.
But as Hubby’s siblings (12-20 years older than him) could no longer make the trip from NY, they asked us to use and look after the place. They hated seeing the parental home just decline. “Plus not everyone has a rent-free home to use,” they said. And they even generously paid for the needed repairs!
And we’ve found that when God gives something, it’s because he plans on doing great things with it, which is what he is doing!
So we’ve fixed the place up. And we’re trusting the Lord to once again do great things. Why? Because of Mark 10, of course! And because we’re expecting God to use our summer-house for bringing others into the family!
We can never have too many mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, or children! Don’t you agree?
Image credits: Airplane by Pixabay.com; All others ©SheilaScorziello.com]