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It’s OK to be Sad!

God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. – Psalm 18:30

The night before we left Thailand we were all three lying in our bed.  Basically the only thing left in our house was a bed, so we all cuddled up together that last night.  As Marley was sleeping I looked over at Jana and started sobbing.  Jana looked at me and said, “I know.”   Through sobs I told her, “I don’t want to leave Thailand; is there anyway we can stay?”  She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “We have tried everything, and God is making it clear that we need to go back to the States.”  I rolled over and said, “ I know.”

The next day, somewhere over the Pacific, Marley handed me her Inside Out book and asked me to read.  I was doing fine until the end of the book when the character Joy realizes that it is ok for someone to be sad.  The character Joy accepts that sadness is essential for a person to recover and heal.  I started to cry and instantly Marley gave me a hug.  Jana looked over at me and said, “What is wrong?”  I smiled and said,  “It’s ok to be sad.”

Moving to the States has been a difficult transition for us.  Numerous times this past month we have talked about the desperate loneliness we have felt living in TN.  It is not because of the absence of friends or family in Knoxville, but instead the reality of leaving everything behind.  While living in Thailand we learned how to love one another, lost a child, had Marley, and celebrated many milestones together.  We did not leave a home that we can visit on holidays, but instead we left a life that we might never revisit.  It hurts, and the only remedy we have found is embracing our sadness and seeking God together.

 So now what?  We are living in Knoxville, TN.  Jana is working to put together our apartment, connect with therapists, and find Marley medical services.  I am teaching Elementary PE, an age I have never taught, coaching baseball at a local high school, and trying to figure out how to adjust to American life.  We ask that you lift us up in prayers when possible, because we are learning that transition, is a long difficult process.

Jack Barr

Jack and Jana Barr are missionaries in Bangkok, Thailand. Before their first date, they both knew God was calling them to serve overseas. After completing their undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees they flew to Bangkok for the first time. For the past ten years they have served God by teaching at the International Community School in Bangkok, Thailand. Jack and Jana did not know God would use their daughter Marley, to forever alter their life plan while living overseas. Marley was born with Down syndrome and that event sent Jack crashing into a sea of depression. “I could not overcome the question of, Why us God”? Since that day, Jack and Jana have rerouted their plan to align with God’s plan. They started, If They Had A Voice, an awareness campaign that focuses on Down syndrome abortions. Their story has been featured on CNN, CNN Mexico, Life Action News, and The Insight Channel.

2 Comments

    Lynda Allen

    13th Mar 2016 - 5:17 pm

    It is so very, very hard to start over, but you are never alone!! God will provide a way and there are many of us not far away that love you all and will be praying for you in the days ahead!!!

    Vicky

    10th Apr 2016 - 9:05 am

    The film “Inside Out” is a very powerful, well researched story around the two themes of ‘attachment’ and ‘loss’. It is recommended viewing for staff working in Early Years here in the UK. I often talk about it to parents and colleagues.
    I’m sorry that life is so difficult for you right now, hoping and praying that it soon starts to feel easier.

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