The time is drawing near. We have spent the last 4 months stateside and we are now 3 ½ weeks out from making our departure to the Mid. East.
I have a whole gamut of emotions running through me at present.
When we first arrived in the states, I was relieved. I was so glad to be under the safety of my (earthly) Father’s roof and the warmth of my Mother’s nest once again. To have babysitter’s on hand at any moment, another person planning and cooking meals for us, the convenience of American shopping and all that we need and more at our fingertips, the entertainment that is made available for big people and little people…it was like going to Disney World.
I have a new appreciation for America, we may be struggling in a lot of areas and have had our weaknesses put on display to the nations…but, there really is no place like America. It is a blessed nation that was built on the blood, sweat, and tears of immigrants from many different nations who longed for freedom, liberty, justice, independence and opportunity. I had the privilege of visiting Ellis Island just a couple of weeks ago and could still feel in the air the emotions of relief, excitement, expectation and desperation that filled the rooms and halls of that building when hundreds of thousands of people flooded in from that month long journey across the oceans into the land of promise. I was grateful for the men and women who risked their lives for the sake of the many that would come behind them, some of those many being my children and me. What an incredible history we have.
Right around the 3-month marker of being home my emotions began to transition from relief into restlessness. I still loved being close to my family but it was as if I was in the final trimester of a pregnancy. I was tired of being pregnant and ready to give birth and see this baby that I had been carrying for 8 months. Even though I knew it required excruciating pain, the possibility of trauma and disaster, a long recovery and months of exhaustion and delirium to follow…I was ready. I began to become uncomfortable in my current condition, in the way that your body begins to scream at you at the end of a pregnancy “I can’t carry this weight much longer, I can’t stretch much larger!” I began to become antsy in my current environment, not having a space to call my own, not having any set routine with my children. It was time. And the Lord in His perfect leadership gently lead me to the place where I could actually say out loud “I am ready to go”.
Then we did it. We bought our tickets. The date was set. We were really, really, for real moving to the Mid. East. This would be the stage of your water breaking. Where longing and aching for this baby to be born turns into adrenaline, anxiety, excitement, apprehension about the things unknown – but there’s no turning back now, this baby is coming! We are really going to pack up our bags (again) put our little family of 4 on a plane on September 14th and make our way to a new nation that we will call our home. One where we still don’t know the language, have only read and heard about the culture, don’t know the smells, the sights, the warmth or chill of the air except for what we’ve imagined. And in a moment it will all be real and thus begins the rest of our lives.
On September 14th, we will board our flight to that beautiful nation in the East. And I feel perhaps a sliver of what our ancestors felt in the 1800’s as they sailed to this land of promise, except it’s not necessarily for my blood family that will come behind me in years to come…but it’s for another nation(s), another people(s) that is not my own that have yet to have the honor and privilege of hearing about the most beautiful Man that has ever walked the face of this earth. We are going so that these nations that we may touch could hear of Him and while we may not be offering them peace and prosperity in an earthly manner, we are offering it to their souls in an eternal manner. That they, and their children and their children’s children, may taste and see with their very own eyes the goodness of Him whose heart burns with affection towards them.
I may not feel for these people the same intensity that He does but this I know with all my heart…His wounds have paid MY ransom…and so have they theirs, and how will they know if no one tells them? He is far too beautiful to keep to myself. The knowing of Him explodes into the telling of Him, the proclaiming of Him, the testifying of Him. And if His desire is truly that all that should come to know Him and that none should perish…well then how could I allow the preservation of my own life and the comforts of this world outweigh the desire of the One who was pierced for my transgressions? I cannot.
So, we go, broken, weak, frail, with very little to offer. We boast in our weakness that His strength might be put on display for all to see.
So, we go, afraid, excited, anxious, happy, naïve, leaning, trusting, hoping, clinging.
So, we go, for the joy set before us.