Hello my dear friends and partners,
I don't know if it is just the left over hormones of pregnancy, the tiredness of being a new mom, or the nostalgia that comes with changing seasons.. but as we finish with summer I look back on the last three months in awe at how God brings about transition.
We learned a lot about being in transition while at our cross cultural training at CIT. Being between two places is hard, being in the neutral ground or the transition place is like being gone but not having left. Eric described it best to me one day, he said it is like being on a sail boat (we tend to use that analogy often) and you have traveled too far out to see the shore you left but you haven't reached the place where you can see the land beyond the horizon. You don't see the current moving under the surface of the water and you don't see the wind building from the east.
The thing about being in transition is you know when you enter it, its violent and emotional.. you make choices to push off from shore. But you don't always know when you are going to leave it... you hope to, you mark your course.. but you can't know till it happens. You leave transition not like you enter it.. you plan for it but you don't ever realize how quickly it comes upon you.. Leaving transition can best be seen by looking back at the tiny ripples in the water that moved you to the new shore.
We have been in transition for a year now. Last August we took the violent plunge and left our jobs, our home, our independence, life as we knew it.. We left being successful, being accepted, being understood and we dived into the unknown..fully committed to traveling to the other side of the pond (pun intended). We gave up our comfort and everything that made us 'acceptable adults' to society to take up the part of the renegade, the pilgrim, the dependent.. We decided what was important and who we were going to obey (Ourselves and our desire to have the life we were building or God and the call He specifically laid on our lives).
Taking that step was like ripping off a band-aid or knocking down a weight bearing wall.. It affected everything around us. It changed us. You stop making long term plans, you meet amazing people but you are afraid to get to close because you know you're leaving. You dream of a future but it is half here and half unknown. You want to have a home but you resist putting down more roots and accumulating more stuff you just have to store. Every action and purchase is balanced against "How will this affect our travel?" or "Can we ship it?".
We expected and wanted our transition period to last a few months..until we realized God had different plans. He planned to bless us with a child during this time. Our transition period took on another meaning.. we were changing what our family was. We were learning who we were, what it meant to lay down our wants, our plans. We became a family of three and through it learned God's love and passion and plan in a whole new way.
Now a year later we are not the same people, we are not in the same place, and we could never go back. We are not perfect, we didn't make it all right and we definitely didn't always do it with the greatest of all attitudes. But we took that first step and we didn't turn back, I think that is what God is really asking of us.
It took longer than we thought and we haven't reached that new shore yet but we see land. While there have been times of deep discouragement, worry, and anxiety that we would be floating in the deep abyss for life.. in the midst of those times God shone like the Northern Star. He never left us nor forgot us, though at times it felt like he did. He prepared for us, He prepared us and He showed us His plan. He encouraged us through partners, friends, verses, songs, and small acts of His presence.
We are happy to say that we see land, that our transition period is almost to an end. We are only 28% away from being fully funded, we are weeks away from having all our passports, and our budget amendments have all but been approved. We talked with our GEM adviser and he agreed that we should be able to leave by November 14th (the earliest). If we are unable to get the last remaining funds or the paper work done by then we have to wait for the holiday window to pass. (GEM doesn't send new missionaries for the last 6 weeks of the year due to holiday and wanting to set up a good transition). If not November we are able to leave January 6th when the window opens again.
We are so excited to see God's work and plan as He moves us closer to the finish line of this transition period. We have started sorting what needs to be shipped, we have applied for Stephen's passport, and we are starting to prepare to say 'good-bye' well.
We are trusting by faith that God has a way of finishing this journey for us. We don't always know how but we can see him start to wrap it all up. There is a saying we read in a devotional that we remind each other of when we get discouraged.
We want to say a big thank you to our partners and friends who have stuck with us during this transition time. Your faithfulness in your prayers and support has encouraged us as we head for this final leg. It will be what helps us as we start ministry and settle into a new life and new home. We are so greatfull we get to serve in ministry along side of you - we couldn't ask for a better team.
Praise God for He is good and His works are right.