Many have asked us what we’ve been doing over the last couple of months. So let me start by saying, no, we’re not on vacation/holiday. There is absolutely nothing relaxing about being caught in between visas, away from your own home, without a salary, or any ability to control your return to where you feel like God has led you for this next season of life. Vacation? Not so much.
We were originally told this whole turn around for a visa would take four-to-six weeks. Around the six-week mark of being back in the States, and without any forward movement; we realized we would be back much longer than anticipated, and started making a concerted effort to soak up as much family time as possible.
My grandparents had us out to Seattle to visit, we’ve spent many afternoons swinging with Merritt at the park, wandered around Target, started some new shows on Netflix, celebrated family occasions like birthdays and graduations, read lots of books, wrote songs, served at my parents church, helped with home renovations, gone for drives just because we have a car, started going to the gym, went to free sing-a-longs and story times at the library and just generally tried to fill our time with anything constructive.
The tension we walk is being present enough to enjoy this unexpected time, while staying invested emotionally in the reality that our life and home (for the time being) are in Liverpool. Each day that we live with seemingly no progress is another day to surrender to discouragement or joy. Discouragement is the easy surrender, joy is the battle.
That irritating, ‘I think I have something I’m supposed to be doing, but don’t know what it is,’ feeling hovers most days. Yes, of course we’re grateful for time with family. But not knowing when it will run out and we’ll have to mentally change gears to head back to Liverpool often finds us not fully present either place.
And once again we’ve found ourselves in the in between. Ironically, our lives have been in between for the better part of four years. A year and a half leading up to our move, two years in Liverpool, six months of potentially extending that time, and now. And yet, this has been the most difficult in between to date.
Maybe because there are three of us now.
Maybe because we have nothing with which to distract ourselves – so we have to feel every little thing.
Maybe because this new visa feels weightier in the grand scheme of our lives.
Maybe because we have relationships, and know what we’re gaining or losing on either side of a visa.
Life is not easy, or always pretty… neither is ministry. And that’s where we find ourselves now – at the intersection of life and ministry. It’s not an easy place, or a pretty place at the moment, but we’re working to convince our hearts of the truth our minds know – that God does not waste anything, He purposes everything, that He is forming Christ in and through us, and that He is orchestrating everything for our greater good and His greater glory.
How desperately, we want that reality to be enough for us, now and in the future.