I was going to edit my previous post and add this, but instead, I think I just want to let it flow as it is . . .
Over the past 6 months of living in Scotland, we’ve discovered a few things: the Scottish are different from the English; the politics, the culture, and the societal norm are very different from us and our values, which can be scary in the natural;
and we truly love Scotland. When we move into something big, we start off with all these ideas, ideals, and lofty thoughts of how things will be. Then we make the move and reality crashes in. God then comes in with the miraculous and His faithfulness and gets us through the transition. Then reality settles in for real, and I think it’s this point where the true process really sets in. The refining, the small details, the true grit of what we will allow God to work in us is revealed at this point. It’s also at this point that the deep peace of being where God has led us to happens, and the choice to continue in that peace is decided upon.
There is nothing easy about moving to a new country. It’s life altering. You can’t cling to your culture, you can’t become fully part of the new culture, but instead, you become something different entirely. You also can’t go back and ever be the same. You can only go forward. If you spent all the money you had on the move, then you definitely can’t go back as you HAVE to settle in. There are moments of heavy grief when you realize that you miss your parents and you may never live near them again. Or you go through your childrens’ birthdays without parties because new friends haven’t been made yet. You hear your friends and family’s grief via the phone. You get lonely. You miss your comforts and nothing in your new space is comfortable. All that happens.
Then you get comfortable in the new space and you find some new semi-okay comforts, but then something (or someone) will hit and remind you that you aren’t wanted, accepted, or liked, and reality hits again. You ask why you came here when the people don’t even want you here? And the food isn’t even good! (I’m half kidding so please don’t get offended if you’re Scottish.) Do you get up and keep going? Do you drown yourself in a new comfort or isolate yourself? Or do you get into His presence and stay there until His comfort and peace overtake your circumstances and fickle feelings?
Yet if you had stayed home in the comfort zone of home and all things familiar, you wouldn’t have been challenged, wouldn’t have had to persevere, wouldn’t have met other immigrants with similar stories, wouldn’t know what the world is like, wouldn’t have been forced to expand your worldview, and wouldn’t have obeyed the leading to go. Then where would you be? That might be the scariest question of all.
A week ago, my mom, my sister, Ryder, and I all went on a walk in the fields behind our house and we discovered so much beauty. So much was hidden behind a line of houses that we would have never discovered had we not made the effort to find it. That one hour of hill walking showed me so much about life. And then the next day, we had a team meeting where we spent time in worship, and I heard God sing over Scotland. I heard His voice wooing us, wooing the immigrants here, and wooing the Scots who are a valiant, strong, independent people. His love for this place is HUGE. His love for us, those who came and those we left behind, is HUGE. And I was covered with His peace and assurance that we are safe HERE in His love, in His care, and He sees and knows the hard things, the tears of being away from loved ones, the frustrations, the finances, the questions, and He covers them. His peace covers us as He sings over us.
So wherever you live in this world, whatever your circumstances are like, may you get into His peace and love and hide in that secret place with full assurance that He sees you, knows you, and sings over you with His love. Don’t stay in the comfortable or the familiar if He is calling you into the unknown. Take His hand and trust Him for He is trustworthy. He’s faithful. Living in His peace is the perfect and safest place to be; it beats all the comforts of the world.