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“Dragonflies aren’t like other creatures of the swamp. Other creatures of the swamp are bound to it. Dragonflies are free to fly out of the swamp and thrive in a different environment.”

From the mind of God, through the mouth of a man, this message was given to me when we began taking steps to return to China. I smile and and am reminded of the words as I look at the swarm of dragonflies hovering just outside the balcony of my apartment.

It’s been two weeks since we arrived in Shanghai, and a whirlwind of emotions and activities has taken us for a ride. I wonder if I will have the same kind of relationships that I’ve had in the past. I wonder if I will find the kind of Acts 2 and 4 community that I want my daughter to grow up in. I grow weary of being swindled by painters and ayis because I’m a foreigner. I wonder if we made the right decision. I feel overwhelmed.

And here are the miniature angels – God’s messengers – just outside, to remind me of the one who brought me here, who made me love China.

And I suddenly see clearly. We are thriving. Life is beginning to make sense. Everything certainly hasn’t gotten easier, but there is a restfulness that we haven’t had in a long time. Already, Anna’s spring has arrived, melting the snow and chasing away the gray of a long winter. She is the person I remember – the person I fell in love with in Wuhan. God is faithful. He is with us. And I have seen more dragonflies in the last two weeks than I have since I can remember.