“Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.”

– Psalm 126:5-6

I am an emotional person. This isn’t a secret. If you’ve known me for more than 5 minutes, you could have figured that out. I used to joke that I’m like Tinker Bell from Peter Pan, only capable of feeling one emotion at a time but fully embodying that one thing. When I’m happy, I’m ecstatic. When I’m sad, I’m melancholy. If I’m worried or nervous, I’m anxious. Usually, it is difficult for me to get out of an emotion once I’m feeling it. And living through these crazy times has highlighted this fact of my life.

Throughout quarantine and every change it has brought, I’ve been sad. I wasn’t able to return to Budapest. I continued my work virtually, but it wasn’t the same as being in Hungary. There were times when I was happy. I got to spend lots of time with my family. I was able to start a virtual book club with university friends. However, my heart was still sad that I wasn’t able to return to my home.

In those sad times, Psalm 126:5-6 kept coming to me. I clung to that promise: God would change my tears to songs of joy. My sorrow wouldn’t last forever. I would reap a crop of joy. But when would this change happen? How long would I have to wait?

At the end of January, I was given the ok to return to Hungary! I bought my ticket as soon as I could, packed my bags, said my goodbyes, and rejoiced. God kept His promise. God granted me great joy!

As I prepared to return to Budapest, other emotions creeped in. I was sad when I said goodbye to my friends and family. It was bittersweet to enjoy my final meals and hang outs with them. I was anxious when I considered flying internationally during COVID. The thought of going through boarder control already makes me nervous, but adding all the extra regulations that have come with COVID-19 was enough to make me nauseous. On top of that, I was nervous about the police coming to check on me during my mandatory quarantine. And I was not looking forward to the loneliness that could come from living by myself for 10 days before I could return to my home. All of these emotions came in and threatened to steal my fresh joy.

I am writing this blog in the Longs’ apartment while I quarantine for 10 days. I anxiously await the police to come visit me to make sure that I am not breaking my quarantine. I am sad that I have left my family on the other side of the planet. But on top of all these emotions is joy. Overwhelming, all-encompassing joy. I am feeling joy because the Lord has brought me back carrying sheaves (or suitcases) with me.

– By Sadie Sprankle, OMS Hungary Team Member