The View From a Distance

You know how it is when you get so close to something that you can’t really see it clearly? What’s that saying? “Can’t see the forest for the trees”. Yeah, that’s me. I get so involved in the details of our day to day work, that it’s hard to pick my head up and see the big picture of what God is doing. I get bogged down in diapers and feeding people and the team schedule and documents, and can easily forget what we are actually aiming for in Ukraine. I mean, of course our work is our ministry is our life- all wrapped up in one, so I’m always “doing the stuff”, but sometimes I can kind of miss the heart of it when the details overwhelm.

It really is necessary though, to pick my head up every so often and remember why we are doing what we are doing. It’s important to pull back a bit and recognize the bigger picture of what God is doing. A good way to do that is to leave our life for a few weeks and watch the work happen from a distance. 🙂 We aren’t in Ukraine right now and we don’t have much control over what happens there while we are gone. We get to sit back and watch our team do their thing from a distance. The only glimpses we get of our Anton and Ruslan are videos and pics from the team- and that bit of distance, well, it does wonders for the heart.

From a distance I can see more clearly how far our boys have come. Man, I’m so proud of them! I see them safe and loved and I see a team that is working so hard to help them in any way they can. I see a group of people committed to changing their country and I see their dedication to do this thing right. I see them building something amazing. I see how God has provided everything we’ve needed right on time, and my faith is built up again as I remember that He will continue to be faithful in the days ahead. We have some very pressing needs coming up soon, so this increase in faith is much needed. (And, it has to be said that I definitely have not arrived. I still lose sleep over those pressing needs…but I’m deciding to trust Jesus in those wee morning hours instead of losing more sleep)

From a distance the rough patches in my heart begin to soften again as I rest and regain perspective. If you have been close to this work at all then you know that my relationship with our Ruslan has been a difficult one. We know that we know that God asked us to take Ruslan out of the institution. We don’t question that. But, it has not been an easy road for me at all. Ruslan struggles with his relationship with women- not in an unsafe way, but still in a very real way, and his feelings for me are a jumbled up mess. We realized after he had lived with us for over a year that it would be much better for him to live with only men, or with a much older woman. That played a part in the decision for him to move from our home last February. That, and then his increased need for independence and anxiety living with a large family. It just made a whole lot of sense on a lot of levels for him to move to an apartment.

Even after Ruslan moved out of our home, I still struggled with my feelings toward him. It was just so hard for me to live with him, and my heart felt let down, guilty, and ashamed of how difficult it was. I felt shame for a long time that I was “unable” to live with Ruslan any longer. I know there was no reason to feel shame and guilt, but those feelings were/are still there. I had many months of questioning God and asking him why he asked us to choose Ruslan when he knew we would not be able to keep him in our home, and when he knew how hard it would be for me. It’s been a journey. But, getting just a bit of distance has really helped my heart.

Earlier this week I was writing an update to Ruslan’s prayer team and I compiled a video of him, showcasing his love for music. In one part of the videos he is singing his favorite worship song and just going for it. He is worshiping with his whole heart and when I watched it my heart just broke. I remembered again where he came from and my heart softened again as I thought of all the terror and abuse he has endured in his life. I felt just so darn thankful that God asked us to take him from that horrible place. I can’t imagine him there!! He belongs with us. He is ours. Yes, living with him was the most difficult time of my life. Yes, I still don’t understand fully God’s purposes in it. Yes, I still have some places in my heart that need healing, but 100 times YES I am thankful that our guy is free. My heart needed that view from a distance.

When I look at our work in Ukraine from a distance I get so excited about what God is doing. Guys, it is amazing. It is freedom work. It is justice work. It is life-saving work. I’m just so pumped to be a part of it. It’s good to feel that again. 🙂

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12 comments

  1. Julie R · December 4

    This video – especially the part of Ruslan worshipping – is just so beautiful! Praise God that His plans are perfect, even when they’re super hard!

  2. Jennifer Lunos Dennrm · December 4

    Yes! I loved this Ruslan post! Please stop wondering why God wanted this for you, even though He knew it would cause you great suffering. This was never about you.This was using one of His strongest, to save His weakest for His glory. You will be rewarded. You will skip the TSA line at the gates of Heaven, fo sho. Personally, I worry I may be asked to sleep overnight, on the floor of the terminal, and then wait in the TSA line. Also, as I read this, it’s the writings of a true mother, coming full circle, or close to, understanding her love of her son. We have children and some are harder than others. Both of my sons are VERY challenging.🤷🏼‍♀️ We just intrinsically know our part as mother doesn’t mean “easy”. It does mean, “until our death.” We thank God he chose us to be momma to these more difficult ones; as anyone else wouldn’t have loved them right😢. What an amazing mother you are! You inspire me.

    • kimnjed · December 7

      Awww man. You made me cry! Thank you for that beautiful encouragement.

  3. Shelley Waia’u · December 6

    Again, thank you for your honesty. I don’t know the whole story regarding Ruslan but I understand a bit about not understanding what the Lord is up to and feeling the owies of what others perceive as failure….and how I feel in a discouraging season. I’ve been reminded time after time, that there is much bigger picture I can’t see.
    When we watch, listen, and participate with you folks, we are all changed and moved to greater things than what the world offers us. Thank you!
    Glad you get to be away a while… you guys are wonderful!
    Aloha friends!
    Good Bless you!

    • kimnjed · December 7

      Thank you Shelley! 🥰🥰🥰

  4. Cat Morris · December 6

    Hi Kim, thank you so much once again for sharing so honestly. I remember how painful that time was for you….but oh my, when I see the video of Ruslan….through you this young man, loved by God, but so broken by the world is finding healing and wholeness once again and I am 100% sure that the difficulties in that time that you went through was part of the deep healing work that had to happen in Ruslan to understand agape love deep in his heart probably for the very first time in his life. HUGE love and respect to you guys and your fabulous team!! Love Cat and Mary and the tribe x

    • kimnjed · December 7

      You guys were such a great support to me last year. Thank you for that. ❤️

  5. Hannah White · December 6

    I really enjoyed reading this.

  6. Teresa A Moyer · December 7

    Beautiful watching Ruslan worshiping the Lord….Beautiful!

    • kimnjed · December 7

      I know, I love that so much!

  7. Dorothy M. Hawkins · December 16

    I miss and love you all so very much💜💞God is with you all always. May He continue to bless and guide you all and keep you all forever in His live and grace. 💞💜💖

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