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Chase Park Warehouse
Athens, Ga


MEIRA Missions

Coming Back

Meredith Raiford

I pace the small room in my mind finding ways to keep busy. I glance to the side and see Him sitting down watching me. He wants me to sit down with Him. I know that. I want to sit down with Him, but I can’t. I need to keep busy. We’re not where I want to be and if I allow myself to sit down next to Him, this will all come into focus. This will all become real.

I know that I’m here. I do. I know that this is now my reality. I glance back over at Him and still He waits. He’s so patient. I miss Him so much.

A few days ago I came home after a week of visiting friends and family in Georgia. I cried as I pulled into the neighborhood; the initial foreboding to a greater storm that was yet to hit. I spent the evening talking and laughing with my family. I seemed fine. I thought maybe I was.

As I crawled into bed that night, deja vu of countless nights in this room, before this year had ever happened, hit me like a strong gust of wind. It felt intensely familiar and I hated it. Tears turned to heavy sobs as I was overcome by grief for the people and life I’ve left behind. Eventually, I fell asleep in my parents bed as my mom rubbed my back and my dad held my hand.

All of the books and mental prepping in my arsenal could not save me from the deep sadness and loss I have felt in coming back to the states. People talk of my bravery and willful obedience in going out, but believe me when I say it took far more for me to come back.

He’s so patient as He waits for me. I’m not angry with Him. And He’s not angry with me. Though goodness knows we could both work up a case for why we’d be justified in our frustrations. Me, that He gave me a love for a people and life and then made me leave it all once I finally felt at home in it. And Him, that He’s invested so much time in teaching me to trust Him and His plans, and yet still I insist on hesitating as I cling to my owns dreams and wishes.


I can never leave Him, and He will never give up on me. And so He waits as I pace, for me to come and sit with Him. I am ready to sit with Him. Grief and a broken heart take time to heal, but I will heal. I will be with Him, and I will heal. I will trust in Him, here and now, as I have in every other place and circumstance I’ve found myself in this past year.

Yes, I am different, but He is not. He is still good. He is still in control. I still choose Him. Wherever He has me, I will choose to sit and be with Him, and He will take care of me. That’s who we are, and it’s what we do. My God is a faithful, loving God. He is faithful in loving me.