After 2 1/2 years of missionary training, linguistics, discipleship and community living, we have made the transition from missionary candidates to missionaries en route to full-time ministry. This means raising prayer and financial support and building a team around us to embark on this journey together. What an exciting time this will be before we transition into ministry! We get to be close to family for the next year which is an enormous blessing on us and our children. We get to reconnect with churches, friends, make new friends, and re-engage with supporters. We get to see first hand how the Lord provides daily for His children. This time is precious and exciting.
As the last day of training was approaching, I knew that we were going to move. I knew that we would move again in 6 months, and again 6 months after that. I wanted to prepare my family, especially my 3 girls, for this huge transition, after transition, after transition. They struggled as they saw all their things packed into boxes and put into storage. But, we reminded them over and over that we would be coming back and their things would be waiting for them. We made sure that we brought all of their favorite things, stuffed animals, books, blankets and toys. Transitions are so much easier when things from home are brought along, so that wherever you are, it can feel like home. I took this to heart for my kids in every way I could.
But, what I did not expect was my own struggle through this transition. All my things were packed up and put in storage. My kitchen items that I use for making meals for my family or gatherings with friends, all packed away not to be used for quite some time. My wall decor that made our house feel so cozy and comfy, carefully bubble wrapped and boxed up. My Christmas decorations, Thanksgiving decorations, Birthday decorations, stored away for the next year. However, it was fine when it happened. Tyler and I were in go-mode. There was no time to think about what was happening, it just happened. It didn’t hit me until I started unpacking in our new temporary home and realized I hadn’t brought anything from our home. There is nothing of ours on the walls now, no pictures, no decorations on shelves, nothing. What was I thinking?!
After many tears with the Lord, I have come to the conclusion that a lot of things happen in life that are unexpected. We can try to plan and prepare for as much as possible, but in the end, we are not in control. Even if I had brought some things with me to make our temporary home feel more permanent, I probably would have struggled with the fact that we moved from a place I loved and we are now slightly unsettled. Those possessions would not have solved the issues and turmoils in my heart. I feel out of control of my surroundings. I feel displaced. But one thing is not out of control, one thing will never be displaced. My Lord and Savior will always be walking through my struggles with me, loving me and encouraging me constantly. He holds me close when I cry, and brings my husband along side me to walk this journey of transition with me. He gives me sweet moments with my kids where all the realities of leaving home melt away and I can remember the truth that family is where my home is.
I am reminded that the Lord is constant and I can expect Him to be constant in the midst of all the unexpected. Remembering this truth has helped me find peace in the chaos and joy in the changes. I can give myself and my family more grace when I understand that this time is difficult and unsettling but everything will be ok as long as we are together and seeking the Lord and His comfort.