Political turmoil in Egypt, Sarah’s pregnant! graduation, multiple, rigorous job interviews leading us to believe we would live in D.C. only to be told at the last minute “thanks, but no thanks,” saying good-bye to Cairo, saying hello to Texas, new job, new apartment, and the best of all, a new baby – Beauden Jakub Long. That about sums up 2012 for The Longs. Change and uncertainty, accompanied by a range of emotions – stress, relief, disappointment, excitement, sadness, joy - seemed to be the dominant themes competing with each other throughout the year.
Around 3:00 A.M. on June 26, 2012, Sarah, six months pregnant, and myself, boarded separate planes in Cairo, Egypt that would eventually reach DFW. We did not have a place of our own, we did not own a car, neither one of us had a job, nor did we have leads for a possible job. Strapped in that 747, slowly rolling to the run-way, we possessed incredible memories spanning over three years in Egypt, a couple of new graduate degrees, ambitious plans that had recently collapsed, a baby on his way, some belongings stowed under the plane, including our new Egyptian dog Najee, and to be honest, a pit in our stomachs that only uncertainty could fashion.
But, throughout that flight over the Atlantic, and the months to come, this uncertainty would contend with a certainty that can only be found in a Savior born 2000ish years ago. And although the next few months had their moments, we were continuously reminded of the unwavering faithfulness found in Him. It was not found in material possessions nor was it found in job security, but it came in the form of a welcoming family on June 27th, in a beautiful, healthy baby on October 23rd, and in a Savior we will celebrate on December 25th. So we don’t have a nice, fluffy year to report. What we can say is that aspirations were shattered, plans were diverted, and faith was strained, but, rest was found, joy was ignited, and faith was renewed.
At the end of December 2012, we are living in Frisco, TX and doing well. Sarah is currently being a ridiculously amazing mom, and a caring, loving wife. Marked by a servant’s heart, her passion to serve the oppressed remains vigorous, whether that’s refugees in Cairo, or refugees in Dallas. Example: Before our bags were unpacked and jetlag was overcome, she was in downtown Dallas mentoring refugees who had recently arrived in the U.S. To be honest, I’m a bit nervous where her heart is going to take us one day.
Beauden is two months old now. He might possibly be the best baby ever. He is just like his dad; he loves to sleep and eat. The most recent excitements are smiling and “talking,” or maybe communicating is a better word. His entry into our family has definitely changed things up, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Bella is still Bella. She doesn’t mind the rules very well. We are still hopeful she will learn, she’s only eight… Najee (means survivor in Arabic) has successfully immigrated to the U.S. After surviving life under a bridge in downtown Cairo, being hit by a car, and undergoing surgery that he only had a 20% chance of waking up from, he is sprinting through the fields of Frisco, enjoying this new thing called grass…even with a few missing toes.
I’m currently working at Bank of America, and to my surprise, I kind of like it. Sure, it wasn’t in my plan, but nothing else that happened this year was. Between learning a new industry and learning how to raise a son, life is busy…but when is it not. And although plans change and aspirations alter, my hope and prayer is that I remain focused on Him, striving to lead my family well. Because things do change and life is uncertain, but He remains.