Happily Ever After?

IMG_1753This week, Nick and I celebrated five years of marriage. I have always enjoyed such milestones as an excuse to give gifts, create traditions, and go in search of the perfect greeting card. I also enjoy using life landmarks as a chance to reflect. An opportunity to take a look across where you’ve been, and see where life leaves you now. However, this year has felt strangely different and unfamiliar- our lives are filled with uncertainty, our hearts desire peculiar things, and our dreams seem foreign to that of five years ago. It leaves us asking: Is this really our happily every after??

The past year, more specifically the past seven months have without hesitation been the most stressful period of Nick and I’s marriage. Living cross-culturally, becoming foster parents, the loss of a grandmother, a father’s heart attack, contending with harsh legal systems, becoming real parents, several bouts of malaria, and now having our family pulled miles apart. Yes, it has been ugly! At times-we’ve been mad, we’ve yelled, and undoubtedly said some thing’s we regret. However, before you chalk us up as crazy or think we need help. Let us be the first ones to say the stress and pain was good and it was perfect! Being ripped down to the core God has allowed us to now experience a new level of HIS love. A love that is deep and raw; sanctioning us to trust more fervently, walk more humbly, and give grace more fully then before. We realize through all the uncertainty and all the changes one thing remains the same. God is our center. He is our core! Anything accomplished through this marriage, designed by HIM, is for HIS glory.

So, what is next? We are currently in the United States. The U.S. Embassy would not grant the children visas, so we are here alone. We have decided to push our 3-6 month home assignment back until next year and extend our 2-year term by 6 months. This will allow us to go back and stay in Nigeria until next April. Making April our new home assignment time. We will spend a few weeks now in the U.S. trying to touch base with all our supporters and bring them up to speed on the ministry happening at Egbe Hospital. We would also would like to spend time seeking wisdom, counsel, and aid on how to logically ensure our family will no longer be bound by country borders. Since our term was assumed to now have ended our support has dropped significantly. Therefore, if you are interested in being a part of our continued ministry either through prayer, legal advice, or financial support please e-mail us at katie.riddle@sim.org or nick.riddle@sim.org – we would love to talk more!

We know that it can be messy, ugly, stressful and confusing…but we know THIS is our HAPPILY EVER AFTER!IMG_1307

4 thoughts on “Happily Ever After?

  1. Katie, your prose is at times like poetry with a theme of living a life of commitment. I have often wondered if you are writing your and Nick’s unique story to share in a publication??? Our thoughts and prayers are with you for a future of blessings😇😇.

  2. That is beautiful. I love how honest you are about how you feel and act. Some people expect us to be saints, but we are just regular people too. Have a blessed day.

    Amberly Bannister

    SIM Missionary in Bolivia

    ________________________________

  3. Nick and Katie, my heart breaks for both of you but I am so uplifted by the way you have turned this situation into a praise for all you have done and experienced. I would love for you to visit the Genesis SS Class when you are available. Just say when and know that we all love you and pray for the family He has begun.
    Blessings to you all!!! Pat

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