As we near our departure date for Asia-Pacific, we are often asked, “Are you excited to move overseas?” We usually answer, “Yeah, we’re really looking forward to it! Can’t wait!”
Truth be told, we’re not.
We’ve both experienced our fair share of excitement over trips in the past. I remember high school missions trips and the giddy anticipation that accompanied them–the careless abandon with which I launched into every new experience. But that was back when I lived with my parents. Back when somebody else was in charge of planning the itinerary, the lodgings, the food, the vaccinations, you name it! Back when my greatest worry was remembering to pack Immodium in case of a reaction to bad water.
The tables have turned with a vengeance. We’re the grown-ups now, with so much on our minds to plan, to purchase, children to protect and provide for, people to see before we leave…it’s all a little overwhelming. And we’re not just going for a two-week immersion trip this time. We will actually have to deal with real culture shock and the reality that we can’t run back to Mom and Dad after a couple of weeks and get back to “normal life.” We’ll be living a totally new normal.
On the other hand, we do have a lot to be excited about. We get to watch God work through all these hurdles and trials that often seem insurmountable to us–and He always shows Himself strong. We get to take our kids along (soon to be THREE BOYS!) on a life adventure that most kids couldn’t even begin to imagine. We get to experience a new culture and learn to love new people that we otherwise wouldn’t have known existed. We get to serve in a hands-on way that utilizes our God-given strengths and highlights God’s power as we also encounter our great weaknesses.
No, we’re not excited in the fun, giddy sort of way. But we have quiet anticipation as we follow the Lord’s faithful leading into completely new territory. Will you pray that God will enable us with strength, courage, and joy in the midst of new circumstances?