I’ve been back in the states for 16 months now! It’s been a long and unexpected furlough but one that I am so thankful for. In that time we’ve been able to adopt our precious daughter Galilee, and now I’m about 7 months pregnant! Being back in the states we’ve been able to see family a lot and re-connect with old friends. We’ve also become very accustomed to American life again. There’s a feeling of familiarity, normalcy, and routine that I have gotten really used to. I love my Walmart, my grocery stores, my restaurants and the convenience of it all! I don’t have to worry if I get sick or if my kid gets sick because my dad works in the hospital nearby… talk about preferential treatment and getting the best of whatever we wanted! I guess going through this whole list of things I see how incredibly blessed I’ve been and how gracious God has been to me. He has provided above and beyond all our needs. Sometimes it feels like I wake up and it’s Christmas morning all over again. The gratitude for all His blessings wears off after a while and then an attitude of entitlement starts to settle in.
I’ve been reflecting on all this because in a few short weeks, we’ll be lugging our bags to the airport and heading back to China! I’m really excited that God has allowed us to take steps back towards the field and I realize that it is an amazing honor that God has given us, but at the same time I struggle with wanting to stay put! I’m afraid to go back. I’m afraid to take my daughter into a sub-arctic climate, I’m afraid to give birth there, I’m afraid I’m going to get super sick again and feel helpless. If you knew everything that I had experienced on the field, you’d probably be scared, too. Part of me thinks that the best thing for me to do is to stay right here in our cute little Kentucky town where I can be near my family, near my pediatrician, and hang out with all my church friends that I will miss so much. Seems strange for a missionary to say all those super “non- spiritual” things, but that, as of right now, would be my greatest dream for my daughter: just to grow up here and live a happy and comfortable life. God is so good to me, though, and one of those gifts He gives me on a daily basis is His word.
“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. ” – Hebrews 11: 24-27
Moses could have stayed in Pharaoh’s palace. He was entitled to. He could have taken advantage of all the riches of Egypt and lived a very comfortable life. Sometimes that’s how I feel about my life. America is my palace. I’m an American, and I would have every right to stay and live in its riches. Like Moses though, I need to keep Christ in the forefront of my mind. He is greater than all these things. All the comforts and conveniences that I’ve been craving and finally have are nothing compared to a life of someone completely satisfied with Christ. All of my fears seem to reveal that I am wanting real security in my life and I need to realize that all these things are temporary and can and will eventually fall apart, except for the One who created all things. Only He can offer me real security and all the stuff I feel like I would be leaving behind in America is just a mirage of what my heart truly desires.
I want to love God more so that I can sing “and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” I want to trade in my dreams for myself and my kids for the great and glorious purposes that God has for us. I want to see what God sees and I want to fall in love with what He loves. I want to loosen my grip on the things of this world and lay it all on the altar.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:2
When I feel like I can’t move forward for fear of the unknown, I know that I can make it when I see what Jesus has done for me. I have renewed joy through who He is and who I am in Him and with that, off I go to pack! Pray that Gali’s passport comes in soon and that our visas get approved in time for us to leave either at the end of this month or the first week of February!