We are in the process to go overseas.
In March of 2013, we began the (extensive) application process, sold our house in July 2013, went to an expo in September 2013 to see where in the world we would serve, and filled out mountains of paperwork and submitted them in October 2013. And now we are in the waiting process to move forward.
As the holidays approach, I cannot help but to think: this could be the last Thanksgiving, Christmas, and holiday season I spend with my family for many years. I had not cried over the process this far. I guess there were too many unknowns up to this point. But as we move ahead and tell more friends and family, tears have been welling up in my eyes a little more these days.
A friend of mine and I were driving to dinner the other day when she let out a soft sigh and said, “I really wanted you to be in my wedding.” She didn’t mean this in a guilt-stricken way. She meant it honestly. She meant: you mean a lot to me and your presence there means a lot. I am now selfishly hoping she will be engaged and married all within the next year. I had not even thought about not being present with her on her day. This was the first time I cried over something I would be missing.
That made me think: I will miss things. I will miss events. I will miss holidays. I will miss births of babies, weddings, birthdays, graduations, and saying goodbye. I will miss people—relationships—conversations—being present. I will miss hugs.
Even this, I must turn over to the One Who is leading me. It is He alone I follow. It is He alone Who will sustain. And He understands—more than anyone else—what it feels like to leave your place and people of comfort for the sake of His Name among nations.
A dear friend and mentor of mine quoted her daughter-in-law who serves overseas who said: “May He surely fill up all that you give up.”
We are waiting to hear from the organization we will go through. So much of this process is hurry up and wait. It becomes difficult to maintain a mindset of “being all here” yet constantly thinking about the possibility of going.
Could this be our last holiday season in the states or at least with our friends and family? Will we be moving next year? We probably shouldn’t buy that if we cannot take it overseas…if we go overseas. What will we do with our puppy (don’t even get me started down that road)? Who should we tell about this process and how soon is too soon to tell them?
So many questions…so little answers. All we know is that He is leading and we are following. He is sovereign over this. We will go where He opens the path to go. And the answers will come. It’s amazing the amount of patience we have both felt over the past few months. The balance of “being present” and thinking about the future has been a good one to learn.
One of my favorite quotes is from Jim Elliot, “Wherever you are, be all there…”
For now, we are here…we are all here. Our hearts may grow in a desire for a people group, but He will lead us there is His time. Until that time, we focus on the people groups He has led us to in the present time.